Over the past two weeks, the CIA asset in Libya and warlord Khalifa Haftar, who declared himself a “field marshal” on par with Georgy Zhukov who captured Berlin in 1945, has suffered a series of setbacks.
Qatari state TV channel, Al Jazeera, reported that Haftar’s armed gangs were expelled by the United Nations-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) from strategic cities located west of Tripoli, including Sabratha, Surman and al-Ajaylat.
The same month, the GNA also announced that it shot down three of Haftar’s fighter jets. Setbacks suffered by Haftar’s gangs are first and foremost a failure of the UAE, Saudis, Israel and the US. These developments can only contribute positively to the Muslim world.
Israel’s involvement in Libya has been recently reported in detail by Yossi Melman, an Israeli correspondent whom Wikileaks documents linked to Israeli intelligence services.
According to Melman’s report for the Middle East Eye, “between 2017 and 2019, Mossad envoys met on numerous occasions with Haftar in Cairo, and have facilitated the training of some of his key officers.” Haftar’s political and military fortune began to change drastically after the Turkish parliament’s approval in January to deploy troops to Libya insupport of the UN-recognized government (GNA).
Prior to Turkish deployment in Libya, things looked promising for the incompetent militia leader. Nevertheless, once Turkey announced its determination to abort the Saudi-UAE plan to place their puppet in Tripoli, in February 2020, Crescent International concluded that the CIA-backed warlord will not be able to seize Tripoli.
Ankara’s determined actions in Libya are an important regional development. Not only does it show that CIA’s ability to pick a ruler for the region are gone, but that a Muslim brotherhood-backed government will remain in power in an Arab country. The chaos in Libya—entirely of Western making—has propelled Ikhwan minded Islamic groups into power. While these groups may exercise limited control over what once as the Libyan state, it is the only country in the Arab world where an Islamic group is part of the government and has executive powers, even though such powers are limited.
This is a long term strategic threat to a bunch of US and Israeli backed regional dictators, as the Ikhwan remain the primary potent Islamic organization in many Arab countries confronting such foreign-backed dictators. It should be remembered that Haftar also has the backing of Russia, which sees an Islamic oriented governance in an Arab Sunni Muslim country as a potential long-term threat to itself, due to its own large Muslim population. Muslims in Russia are politicized and due to historical reasons have been keen to lean towards separatism.
Moscow’s backing of Haftar is a long-term preventive action to halt a potential influence of an Islamic movement in power over Muslims in Russia. Libya is not geopolitically strategic for Russia, thus the hopes of the UAE and Saudis that Moscow will compensate for Washington’s imperial demise and the US’s weakness in Libya arenot realistic.
If Moscow wins some guarantees from Ankara that an Islamic presence in the Libyan government will have no negative impact on Russia, the Saudis and Emiratis will be quickly tossed aside and face another regional setback. This will be a gain for the people of North Africa and the broader Middle East.