After the overthrow of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 (he was executed by rebels), which occurred as a result of the military intervention of the United States and a number of NATO countries in the country, civil war has not stopped in Libya all these years. The so-called third stage of the armed confrontation began in May 2014, when the commander of the Libyan National Army (LNA) Khalifa Haftar announced the start of a large-scale air and ground operation of the LNA in the area of the city of Benghazi in the east of the country against rebel Islamist groups supported by a number of foreign countries.
In fact, Libya is currently a conglomerate of several quasi-states. Since 2019, about 90% of the territory of Libya has been under the control of Haftar. The Government of the National Assembly (PNS), recognized by the West and the UN as the only legitimate governing body of the country, actually controls only the capital Tripoli and its environs. At the same time, all kinds of paramilitary groups continue to operate in Libya, most of them extremist Islamic rebels.
At the same time, the leaders of these rival factions, with which the LNA is at war, are forming alliances with similar Islamist rebel groups in neighboring Chad and Sudan. Earlier this week, Chadian President Mahamat Idriss Déby said the army was once again fighting the Libya-based Chadian Front for Change and Accord (FACT), which pulled out of the ceasefire last week.
The day before, Islamist rebels operating in the south of the country, together with militants from FACT, captured several buildings in the Libyan province of Murzouk. However, Khalifa Haftar, who considers himself the legitimate ruler, as well as the leaders of other groups, does not intend to give up and is taking decisive action to take control of the entire territory of this oil-rich North African state.
The Qatari TV channel Al Jazeera reports that the Libyan National Army yesterday launched an airstrike on rebels from Chad in the south of the country. The target of the air attack was an unfinished residential complex in the remote outpost of Umm al-Araneb on the outskirts of the city of Murzouk, where rebel fighters and their families seized more than 2000 houses under construction, said LNA chief spokeswoman Khalifa al-Obeidi. After the air strike, the military controlled by Haftar landed troops in the area and liberated the buildings from the Islamists.
The representative of the Libyan National Army, Ahmad Mismari, said that the military operation to oust or destroy the rebels will continue until the complete control of all southern territories of Libya. Mismari promised that the LNA "will no longer allow armed groups to use Libyan territory to carry out attacks on neighboring countries."
Earlier, the commander of the Libyan National Army, Marshal Khalifa Haftar, for the first time received a delegation of the Russian Defense Ministry, headed by Deputy Minister Yunus-Bek Yevkurov. Officially, the meeting discussed the fight against terrorism and "other issues of joint action." At the same time, Moscow officially recognizes the legitimacy of the PNS, but takes into account that the real power in Libya has long been in the hands of Marshal Haftar.