Report: General known as 'Libya's Sisi' set to meet Israeli officials in Amman

Libyan president proposed appointing army general Khalifa Haftar as top military commander; Libyan PM criticizes US, UK and EU for failing to supply weapons.

By REUTERS
February 25, 2015 16:35
2 minute read.
Khalifa Haftar

Khalifa Haftar. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

Former Libyan army general Khalifa Haftar, who has set himself up as a warrior against Islamist terrorism and who some see as their savior, has plans to meet with Israeli officials on a visit in Amman, an Arab newspaper reported.

The London-based daily Alquds Alarabi reported on Tuesday that informed sources said that Haftar secretly visited Egypt twice last week and received 400 various weapons for his forces in Libya.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


Meanwhile, the president of Libya’s elected parliament has proposed appointing Haftar as top military commander, parliament’s spokesman said on Wednesday.

“Mr. Aguila Saleh has proposed to appoint Haftar,” spokesman Farraj Hashem told Reuters. “The House of Representatives supports this.”

He said the decree still needed to be signed by Saleh.

Critics say Haftar sees himself as Libya’s version of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, a former military man.

Certainly, Haftar misses no opportunity to praise Sisi. His war planes joined Egyptian jets bombing suspected Islamic State targets in Libya after the jihadist group released a video showing the beheading of Egyptian Coptic Christians.

JPOST VIDEOS THAT MIGHT INTEREST YOU:


Libya’s official Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni on Tuesday criticized the United States, Britain and European Union for failing to supply arms to his forces as they battle those of a rival government.

The tough comments come a day after Libya’s elected parliament, allied to Thinni, suspended its participation in UN-sponsored talks to try to end the power struggle between the two rival administrations and assemblies.

Thinni has been confined to a rump state in the east since an opposing faction called Libya Dawn seized the capital, Tripoli, last year, reinstating an old assembly known as the GNC and setting up a rival government.

Thinni and the House of Representatives, also based in the east, enjoy the recognition of world powers but anti-Western sentiment has been building up. Many normal people demand military support in the power struggle with Tripoli, four years after the NATO-backed ousting of Muammar Gaddafi.

“Unfortunately, the international community and especially the United States, Britain and the European Union have refused to arm the Libyan army,” Thinni told pan-Arab channel Al-Arabiya.

“Libya Dawn is part of militant Islamists that get weapons, ammunition and supplies from all over the world,” he said. “But America and Britain have other ideas against the interest of the Libyan people.”

Libya is still under a UN arms embargo dating from the 2011 uprising, though the country is awash with weapons and dominated by armed factions.

Thinni has been facing pressure from Haftar who has merged his forces with army troops in the east to fight Islamist groups. While the alliance has managed to win back some territory in Benghazi, Haftar has drawn criticism for calling in air strikes on civilian airports and seaports.

Frustrated with hardships in the east, where the conflict has made gas, electricity and medicines scarce, protesters have demanded Thinni quit and hand power to a military council headed by Haftar.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

 From nuclear center, Netanyahu warns those threatening to destroy Israel (August 30, 2018).
September 20, 2018
Israel nuclear chief: We are upgrading defenses at Dimona reactor

By YVETTE J. DEANE