Posts Tagged ‘Libye’
Anonymous gunmen killed an Egyptian citizen in Libya on Thursday evening in a sewing shop in al-Baraka area, Benghazi.
Islamist militias in Libya have reportedly taken control of 11 commercial aircraft from Tripoli International Airport in Libya, sparking fears of a 9/11-style terrorattack.
Ahead of the 13th anniversary of the September 11 attacks on New York and Washington, reports emerged that Islamist militias took control of nearly a dozen jetliners last month after the airport was the scene of a fierce battle.
On Sunday, the Libyan government announced that they had lost control of the capital to the militants, who include the Islamic groups Ansar al Sharia – which has ties to the Islamic State – and Libyan Dawn, an umbrella group for Islamist militias.
The country is currently witnessing its worst spasm of violence since former dictator Muammar Gaddafi was toppled and killed in 2011. Intelligence officials have been told in the last two weeks of the possibility that one of more of the aircraft could be used in an attack later this month, according to the Washington Free-Beacon.
“There are a number of commercial airliners in Libya that are missing,” one official told the Free-Beacon. “We found out on September 11 what can happen with hijacked planes.”
Damaged airplanes on the tarmac at Tripoli international airport
September 11 not only marks the anniversary of the World Trade Centre and Pentagon attacks; it will also be the second anniversary of the Islamic militant-led raid of the US Ambassador’s compound in Benghazi, Libya when four Americans, including US Ambassador Christopher Stevens, were killed.
In July 2014 fighting broke out in the area of Tripoli International Airport, Libya as anti-government and pro-government militias were engaged in fighting. As a result, Tripoli Airport was closed for air traffic and many aircraft were damaged as result of the devastating fighting.
Al Jazeera reported that the planes are now being held by a group called the Masked Men Brigade who plan to use them in terror attacks.
Moroccan military expert Abderrahmane Mekkaoui told Al Jazeera there is “credible intelligence” that the Masked Men Brigade “is plotting to use the planes in attacks on the Maghreb state’ on the 9/11 anniversary.”
A commander for the Libyan Dawn group said earlier this week his forces had entered and been in control of the US Embassy compound in Libya’s capital since last week.
A video posted online showed men playing in a pool at the compound. In a message on Twitter, US Ambassador to Libya Safira Deborah said the video appeared to have been shot in at the embassy’s residential annex.
Tripoli, September 1 (RHC)– A Libyan militia group says it has secured the U.S. Embassy and its residential compound in the capital, Tripoli, since last week. An unnamed commander for the Fajr (Dawn) Libya militiamen made the remarks on Sunday.
“We’ve secured the location and the assets of the embassy,” he said, adding, “We’ve informed our command… immediately after entering the place following the exit of the rival militia. The place is secure and under protection.”
A video posted on-line showed unarmed men playing in the embassy courtyard. American diplomats were evacuated from Libya to neighboring Tunisia on July 26th because of raging violence. Libya has been witnessing one of its worst spasms of violence since the overthrow of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. Recent fighting between armed groups has prompted almost all foreign diplomats and thousands of residents to flee Tripoli.
Rival militiamen, who refuse to lay down arms, are fighting for total rule over the North African country, and the army has been unable to curb the widespread lawlessness.
(Source / 01.09.2014)
‘It is only natural for Al-Sisi and the countries supportive of his coup, especially Saudi Arabia and the UAE, to take a stand against the revolutions of the Arab peoples who hope for freedom, dignity and justice because their governments do not represent their people.’
The New York Times newspaper has published statements by senior security officials that Egypt and the United Arab Emirates participated in the air strikes on the Libyan Dawn Forces linked to the February 17th rebels; Egyptian air bases near the border with Libya were used to launch UAE aircraft. The NYT also reported that the US was not aware of these strikes that were not only unconstructive, but also backfired. This emphasises the accusations made by the official Dawn Forces spokesman since the beginning of the fighting that Egypt and the UAE are both participating in the fight against Libya by means of air strikes; these claims were initially denied by the Egyptian foreign ministry, first by its official spokesperson, and then by Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi himself. The Egyptian coup leader has, therefore, been shown to be a liar in front of his people and the entire world; this is a global scandal on every level.
Al-Sisi is gambling and risking the lives of all Egyptians, not just the two million who work in Libya, by this reckless act that disregards all logic and strategic thought. He is endangering Egypt’s western border, as the Dawn Forces have taken control of Tripoli and tightened their control over the airport, defeating rebel General Haftar’s forces, which are backed by the UAE and Egypt. This prompted Al-Sisi to lie and deny Egypt’s involvement in the fighting, even though the exact opposite occurred; he was hoping to announce his support for defeating terrorism in Libya represented by the February 17th rebels.
It is only natural for Al-Sisi and the countries supportive of his coup, especially Saudi Arabia and the UAE, to take a stand against the revolutions of the Arab peoples who hope for freedom, dignity and justice because their governments do not represent their people. Al-Sisi staged a coup against his own people and betrayed them before overthrowing his president and breaking his vows of office in leading the counter-revolution, but it seems that this is not enough for him; he now wants to be the leader of the counter-revolution in the entire Arab region.
Al-Sisi has become a threat to Egypt’s national security, as he is hostile towards the Palestinians in Gaza and is supporting the Zionist enemy in its war on Gaza, on Egypt’s eastern border, putting Egypt in danger. He is also in a silent conflict with Southern Sudan, and now he is supporting Haftar’s rebel forces in Libya and allowing them to use Egyptian airbases to launch aircraft to strike a neighbouring country on our western border. He is endangering the whole country. However, he should keep his mentor and idol, Gamal Abdel Nasser, in mind and remember what he did in Yemen and the disasters suffered there by Egypt; Nasser achieved nothing but the loss of his country’s gold, which was used to bribe tribal leaders. Egypt has been impoverished ever since. One of the most important consequences of Egypt’s war in Yemen was the great defeat by Israel in 1967. Ironically, at that time, Nasser said that he was fighting the reactionaries represented by Saudi Arabia; today, Al-Sisi is working hand in hand with the same reactionaries, and is even following their orders. Is anyone surprised by this?
(Source / 27.08.2014)
The power grab highlights the lawlessness that has swept Libya since rebels overthrew dictator Moammar Gadhafi in 2011 and later formed powerful militias that successive governments have been unable to tame.
Libyan Foreign Minister Mohamed Abdelaziz, right, greets his Chadian counterpart Moussa Faki during the opening session of a gathering of foreign ministers of Libya’s neighbors in Cairo, Egypt, Monday, Aug. 25, 2014
CAIRO — Libya’s past, Islamist-dominated parliament reconvened Monday and voted to disband the country’s current interim government, defying voters who elected its opponents to take over amid ceaseless fighting by rival militias.
The power grab highlights the lawlessness that has swept Libya since rebels overthrew dictator Moammar Gadhafi in 2011 and later formed powerful militias that successive governments have been unable to tame. It also leaves troubled Libya with two governments and two parliaments, deepening divisions and escalating the political struggle that’s torn the country apart.
Islamist militias have attempted to cement their power in the capital after claiming its airport and forcing rival militias to withdraw. The fighting began after Islamist candidates lost parliament in June elections and a renegade general began a military campaign against Islamist-allied militias in Benghazi, Libya’s second-largest city.
The Islamist-led past parliament voted unanimously to appoint a new “national salvation government” headed by Omar al-Hassi, a university professor. That happened as Islamist-militias said in a statement that their forces had “liberated” all facilities and barracks in Tripoli, inviting the United Nations and foreign diplomats to return.
Libya’s newly elected parliament meanwhile continues to meet in the far eastern city of Tobruk far from the militia violence. Those lawmakers have branded Islamist militias as terrorists, sacked the country’s chief of staff over his alleged links to Islamists and named a new one who vowed Monday to wage war against “terrorists.”
Libya’s interim government is also unable to return to the capital and has been holding its meetings in the eastern city of Bayda. It sent its foreign minister to Egypt to meet officials from neighboring countries to discuss ways to stop the spiraling violence.
The meeting ended with calls for disarming the militias and opposition to outside military intervention in Libya’s affairs. That appears to be an attempt to mute accusations that Libya’s neighbors, including Egypt, played a role in recent unclaimed airstrikes that have targeted Islamist militias’ positions in Tripoli.
Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shukri warned the gathering that the situation in Libya threatens the entire region and other parts of the world.
“The developments in Libya have left an impact we have felt on the security of neighboring countries, with the presence and movement of extremist and terrorist groups whose activists are not only limited to the Libyan territories but also spill over to neighboring countries,” he said.
Meanwhile, France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom and the United States issued a joint statement to “strongly condemn the escalation of fighting and violence” and urged “all parties in Libya (to) accept an immediate ceasefire and engage constructively in the democratic process, abstaining from confrontational initiatives that risk undermining it.”
Also on Monday, retaliatory attacks swept Tripoli, targeting houses and buildings of Islamist rivals, including Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni. He accused Islamists of attacking his house in Tripoli, then torching and looting it.
“It is impossible that you can impose anything on Libyans using force,” al-Thinni warned. “It will be like a devil who wants to enter heaven.”
Libya’s divisions are rooted in rivalries between Islamists and non-Islamists, as well as powerful tribal and regional allegiances between groups who quickly filled the power vacuum after Gadhafi’s fall. Successive transitional governments have failed to control them.
The formation of a new government by the Islamist-dominated outgoing parliament came on the grounds that handover of authority earlier this month was improperly handled. However, Libya’s court system and laws remain in disarray, meaning whomever has the guns has the power.
The political rivalry has been coupled with militia infighting that has scarred the capital and driven out thousands of its residents. It has also turned Benghazi into a battlefield between Islamist militias and fighters loyal to a renegade army general who vowed to weed them out.
(Source / 26.08.2014)
WASHINGTON (AP) — Egypt and the United Arab Emirates secretly carried out airstrikes against Islamist militias inside Libya, U.S. officials said Tuesday, decrying the intervention as an escalation of the North African country’s already debilitating turmoil. They said the United States had no prior notification of the attacks.
One official said the two countries and Saudi Arabia have been supporting a renegade general’s effort for months against Libyan militant groups, but that the Saudis don’t appear to have played a role in recent strikes. Another official said Washington knew about Egyptian and U.A.E. plans for a possible operation and warned them against going through with the effort.
The officials weren’t authorized to speak publicly on the matter and demanded anonymity. The Egyptian and U.A.E. role in the strikes was first reported by The New York Times.
In a joint statement, the United States joined with Britain, France, Germany and Italy in expressing its concerns, saying “”outside interference in Libya exacerbates current divisions and undermines Libya’s democratic transition.”
A U.S. official said the intervention wasn’t done with authorization from Libya’s government.
And the newly appointed U.N. envoy to Libya said he doesn’t believe foreign intervention is helpful. The diplomat, Bernardino Leon, said only an inclusive political process with all Libyans represented in parliament, government and other state institutions will end the instability gripping the country more than three years after the uprising that toppled dictator Muammar Gadhafi.
“Any kind of intervention or foreign intervention won’t help Libya get out of chaos,” Leon said.
American officials have not attributed the strikes to any country publicly. Egypt has repeatedly denied involvement. Emirati officials have not commented.
Islamist militias in Libya have made similar allegations against Egypt and the U.A.E. following two days of mysterious airstrikes against Islamist-allied militia positions in Libya’s capital, Tripoli, since Aug. 18.
The strikes happened as Islamist-backed militias were fighting for control of Tripoli’s international airport. Libyan officials have repeatedly called the airstrikes “foreign,” and the country’s air force likely does not have the capability to fly night sorties.
Libyan lawmakers recently voted to ask the United Nations to intervene in the ongoing militia battles throughout the country. The militias largely are comprised of the rebels who toppled and later killed Gadhafi in 2011.
Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shukri on Tuesday said reports of an Egyptian role in the airstrikes were “unsubstantiated rumors.”
Shukri said his country respects Libya’s popular will and elected parliament, and wanted to help train its armed forces.
“But we have no direct connection to any of the military operations on the ground in Libya,” Shukri said.
The Emirates and its Gulf neighbor Qatar played the most prominent Arab roles in the military intervention that helped lead to Gadhafi’s ouster, with both sending warplanes to assist the NATO-led effort. They also provided humanitarian aid, and Qatar in particular played a major role as a supplier of weapons to rebel groups.
But the two countries — both important U.S. allies — today find themselves in opposing camps jostling for influence in the wake of the Arab Spring uprisings.
The Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Egypt under President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi — who led the ouster of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi — are staunchly opposed to the Muslim Brotherhood, which they see as a threat to their ruling systems. Morsi hails from the Brotherhood, Egypt’s largest Islamic group.
Qatar is far more accommodating to the Brotherhood and its allies, including Islamist factions fighting for power in Libya. It was a major backer of Morsi’s government and is home to the leader of Hamas, an Islamist group that Israel and the West consider to be a terrorist organization.
(Source / 26.08.2014)
The two TV stations that were closed were identified as Libya al-Wataniya and Libya al-Ramia
Libyan authorities have decided to shut down two public television stations taken over by Islamist militias embroiled in clashes in Tripoli, a government official said Tuesday.
“The authorities have closed ‘Libya al-Wataniya’ which had been under the control of the provisional government and ‘Libya al-Ramia’ which was the voice of parliament,” the official said, asking not to be named.
He said Nilesat had accepted requests from the heads of Libya’s government and parliament to halt transmission of the two satellite channels.
The two channels have thrown their support behind Islamists battling since July 13 with rival militiamen for control of Tripoli international airport.
(Source / 19.08.2014)