Posts Tagged ‘Libye’
Anti-Gadhafi militants celebrate the fall of Sirte in the town, Libya
Cairo – Forces fighting ISIS in Sirte and loyal to the government of national accord became involved in the struggle between the government and the illegitimate forces in Tripoli.
Of the first foreign states to comment on recent developments, France officially condemned the occupation of the Libyan High Council of State.
The ministry issued the statement on its website, which said: “France condemns the occupation by force of the Libyan High Council of State, the institution created by the inter-Libyan political agreement, the only legitimate framework and only possible way to restore peace and stability in Libya.”
The ministry also reaffirmed its full support for Prime Minister Fayez Serraj’s Government of National Accord and support the efforts of Special Representative of the U.N. Secretary-General Martin Kobler.
France called on all political forces in the country to unite under the authority of the Presidency Council in order to bring about national reconciliation, effectively combat terrorism and human trafficking and work toward the country’s reconstruction.
Meanwhile, al-Nabaa television station reported official spokesperson of Solid Structure operations Mohammed al-Ghosari saying that the forces will not allow anyone to tarnish the legitimate political agreement and its institutions.
Libya’s Rebels room stated that it supports the return of the former parliament and its government. The room asked its brigades belonging to the chief staff to be fully prepared and stand against traitors.
For their part, presidential security said in a statement issued that the only legitimate body is the illegitimate parliament of Tripoli.
Parliament of Tripoli condemned the attempt to kidnap MP Mohammed Morghem. The parliament asked executive bodies and justice system to make sure the perpetrators are held accountable for their actions.
Last Friday, former authorities in Tripoli announced they had regained its powers after taking the state council in Tripoli without any clashes.
PM of former government Khalifah Ghuweil called upon all ministers and bodies to perform their missions and jobs as usual, especially those that affect the daily life of the citizens.
Meanwhile, media center of the Solid Structure Operations announced that the terrorist organization ISIS in Sirte is living its last day. The media center added that the presence of civilians in the city is delaying the complete liberation of the city.
The center mentioned that eight Eritrean women surrendered themselves after the Libyan Air Force dropped fliers asking them to. The women were slaves bought and sold among the leaders of the organization.
The center also briefly explained that the forces are advancing in District 3 of the city where there are few ISIS terrorists.
Chaos began in Libyan following the revolution that ousted the late Libyan leader Mouammar al-Ghaddafi, while Sarraj government that was formed in March faces forces that do not declare its legitimacy including the parliament in the east of Libya.
(Source / 19.10.2016)
Members of forces loyal to Libya’s eastern government stand near to the Libyan cement factory in Benghazi, Libya April 18, 2016
Cairo – Tension escalated in Libyan capital between Libyan factions hours after the U.N.-backed government seized a building used by parliament in Tripoli, proclaiming its own authority and demanding a new government in cooperation with the temporary government led by Abdullah al-Thani.
Sources told Asharq Al-Awsat that limited clashes erupted between militias of Chairman of the High Council of State Abdulrahman Asswehly and security of the Rixos Hotel where the Libyan Parliament currently meets.
A parliamentary official told Asharq Al-Awsat that he expects for the situation to escalate in the upcoming hours to regain control over the headquarters of the High Council of State, which is now under the control of militias of former PM Khalifa al-Ghowel’s internationally unrecognized government.
Asswehly threatened to take back the council and granted Ghowel 24 hours to evacuate the office. Yet, the official said that the council is well-secured against any break-in attempts.
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that people are scared and anxious and war could erupt at any minute now. He added that militias of the U.N-supported government are deployed in certain areas of Tripoli, but they can’t do anything and the Rixos hotel is under control.
Members of Fayez al-Sarraj government said they had taken over the Rixos in the capital, where part of the U.N.-backed government is supposed to operate. The hotel was already controlled by an armed group loyal to them.
Few hours after the militias’ control, former PM Ghowel said that the presidential council had many opportunities to form a government and failed. He called for the formation of a new government.
“The presidential council was given several chances to form the government, but it fails… and has become an illegal executive authority,” Ghwail said in a statement late on Friday.
Ghwail called for a new administration to be formed by his former Tripoli government and its rival in the east, where hardliners also oppose the U.N.-backed administration. He said all institutions including banks, the judiciary and local authorities were under their jurisdiction.
Media bureau of Sarraj said that the presidential council discussed security situation in the country during its meeting.
The presidential council issued a statement saying that Minister of Interior al-Aref al-Khawaj presented a detailed report on the security situation as well as plans set to deal with violations.
“The seizure of the state council is an attempt to hinder the implementation of political agreement by a group which rejects this deal after it has proved its failure in managing the state,” the presidential council said in a statement.
U.N.-backed government posted images on social media of its presidential council and ministers holding a meeting in the main offices of parliament in a different part of Tripoli.
Thani’s government, loyal to the parliament, welcomed Ghwail’s suggestion for a joint government and called upon the parliament to decide on this request as soon as possible.
U.S. State department expressed its great concern about the developments in Libya, saying: “We are in true support for the U.N.-brokered Government of National Accord, which is the legitimate choice of the Libyans and Libyan political parties.”
Likewise, the European Union and United Nations warned of parallel institutions and ensured their support for the GNA government.
(Source / 17.10.2016)
Ahmed Mohmamed Gaddaf al-Dam, cousin of the late totalitarian leader of Libya Muammar Gaddafi
Cairo- Ahmed Mohmamed Gaddaf al-Dam, cousin of the late totalitarian leader of Libya Muammar Gaddafi, says that reinstating the old regime –the one which rose to power after the 1969 Gaddafi-led coup- is unrealistic and that both he and his supporting group understand that fully, affirming that they only seek the restoration of Libya for the better interest of its people.
Speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper, Gaddaf al-Dam mentioned a new movement rising in Libya, one which includes both Gaddafi and 17 February Revolution supporters. The movement includes military battalions, to supposedly save Libya the ‘right’ way, referring to a national reform.
However, he did say that the movement will resort to other methods should political negotiations fail to salvage the situation.
The 17 February Revolution, an armed conflict in 2011, was fought between forces loyal to Gaddafi and those seeking to oust his government. Libya went into civil war and Gaddafi was killed on October 20, 2011, in the Libyan city, Sirte.
To top all that, many Libya leaderships have been frequently paying al-Dam visits at his Cairo residence.
What is more is that the faces seen walking in and out do not necessarily support same political set of ideals—Libyan political figures have started meeting outside the sponsorship of the United Nations.
In his talk, al-Dam warns of looming chaos especially with ISIS still getting supplied with arms and fighters while the international community stands idle. Eventually, he added that Western countries are driven towards opening up a battle front in Libya’s largest city, Tripoli. The front will launch after battles in the southern coastal city of Sirte are done.
All this aims at spreading the chaos, in preparation for Libya’s occupation, al-Dam explained.
When addressing the rumored joint military council between both Libyan bloc’s- led by Fayez al-Sarraj and Khalifa Haftar- al-Dam believes that it would serve as a temporary calming factor, given that chief parties are still kept out.
Al-Dam reiterated deep concerns of the international community overlooking ISIS’ flow into Libya and the arming campaign it has being supported with. Accusing the West of desires to march into Libya, the Libyan leader described the chaos back home.
He also added that any political negotiations casting ‘al-Fateh Revolution’-otherwise known by 1 September Revolution – out is not fair given that it fails to include at least half of the Libyan people’s representatives.
Muammar Gaddafi became the de facto leader of Libya on 1 September 1969 after leading a group of Libyan military officers in a coup d’état against the regime. Winning over the public and driving the King out of the country, the Libyan Revolutionary Command Council (RCC) headed by Gaddafi abolished the monarchy and the old constitution and proclaimed the new Libyan Arab Republic, with the motto “freedom, socialism, and unity”.
But Gaddaf al-Dam broke with Gadhafi in the first few days of a later 2001 rebellion, disagreeing with the government’s harsh repression of the uprising and fled to Cairo. Al-Dam wanted protesters to be dealt with a different way than the one Gaddafi was using.
He said the popular protest movement did not at first amount to a revolution but that NATO’s intervention, which was ill-advised, transformed it into one.
Since Gadhafi’s fall, Libya has splintered. In December, United Nations diplomats and Western leaders announced the creation of a Government of National Accord, but the House of Representatives still hasn’t recognized it.
Al-Dam explained that the West wishes to whitewash the damage it caused Libya’s infrastructure and society, hence resorts to endorsing and promoting political talks and agreements, such as the Skhirat, Morocco deliberations.
Moreover, he reiterated the West’s plans to exploit Libya’s strategic location and ample resources, including uranium and oil.
The cousin to a notorious and highly controversial leader said that the Libya war has its aftermath extending worldwide, whether it be terrorists being imported from their newly found hub to the whole world, or turmoil creeping up borderlines with neighboring countries.
He cited that some of the arms used by extremist attacks in Europe can be traced back to Libya.
After calling the intervention in Libya unconstitutional, al-Dam requested that Libya’s case file be taken out of the United Nations and handed back to the League of Arab States and the African Union.
On 19 March 2011, a multi-state NATO-led coalition began a military intervention in Libya, ostensibly to implement United Nations Security Council resolutions. The resolution was taken in response to events during the Libyan Civil War.
(Source / 12.09.2016)
‘There’s no clear-cut moment the war is launched, it just gradually expands,’ noted one media analyst, who also noted that the mainstream media has largely ignored the expansion of the war on ISIS.
A photo from 2011 shows buildings ravaged by fighting in Sirte, Libya. Islamic State militants have controlled the city since August 2015. The U.S. military has announced ongoing airstrikes against targets in Sirte, and other Libyan cities
WASHINGTON — With little fanfare and minimal media attention, the United States recently began bombing yet another country, further expanding a fight against terrorism that has no clear end in sight.
U.S. airstrikes in Libya began on Aug. 1 with “precision air strikes against ISIL targets in Sirte, Libya,” thePentagon announced in a press release. The airstrikes were apparently carried out at the behest of Libya’s temporary government, the Libyan Government of National Accord, appointed by the United Nations after theU.S. helped overthrow Libya’s ruler, Moammar Gadhafi, under the direction of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Special forces ground troops, deployed by the U.S. and its Western allies, are also present in Libya. On Tuesday, The Washington Post reported that a “small number” of U.S. and British ground forces are present in Libya, where they are coordinating air strikes and assisting the GNA troops.
Libya is now the fourth front in the American war against Daesh (an Arabic acronym for the terrorist group commonly known in the West as ISIS or ISIL), joining bombing campaigns and ground troops in Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq.
Simultaneously, the U.S. continues arming so-called “moderate” rebels in Syria, and supplying arms and military equipment to Saudi Arabia and Qatar, further fueling unrest throughout the Middle East and North Africa.
The expansion to Libya has been planned for months, according to The Intercept, and has no end in site. According to Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook, bombing “would continue as long as [the Libyan government] is requesting them,” and the campaign has no “end point at this particular moment in time.”
“The U.S. has long planned to spread its military campaign to Libya,” reported The Intercept’s Alex Emmons on Aug. 1. “In January, Gen. Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters that the U.S. was preparing to take ‘decisive military action against ISIL’ in Libya.”
Bombing Syria is based on the same controversial Authorization for Use of Military Force passed after the 9/11 terrorist attacks that have justified the last 15 years of genocidal Middle East warfare, including the United States’ other campaigns against Daesh.
“The administration has argued that the 2001 AUMF applies to the war against ISIS, even though ISIS and al Qaeda are sworn enemies. Several members of Congress, including Hillary Clinton’s running mate Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., have argued that the administration should seek congressional authorization to continue its war against ISIS. Such authorizations for the conflict have failed to gain traction in a divided Congress.”
But, he added, it’s not the first time the U.S. has ignored Congress when it comes to Libya:
“In 2011, the U.S. continued its Libyan campaign even after Congress rejected a resolution to authorize it. The White House even delivered a report to Congress that argued that the U.S.-led bombing campaign did not count as ‘hostilities’ under the War Powers Resolution. That resolution limits unauthorized conflicts to 180 days.”
The United States’ apparently endless “War on Terror” seems to have become so commonplace that the media hardly responds when it expands to new fronts, noted Adam H. Johnson, a media analyst from Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting.
“While the air strikes themselves were reported by most major outlets, they were done so in a matter-of-fact way, and only graced the front pages of major American newspapers for one day,” Johnson wrote in The Nation on Aug. 5. “The New York Times didn’t even find the news important enough to give it a front-page headline, instead relegating it to a quick blurb at the far-bottom corner of the page.”
Even alternative media seemed too distracted by the election to take much notice, Johnson added.
Johnson argued that, under President Barack Obama, the expansion of conflict has been made to seem “entirely banal” under what he calls the “frog in boiling water” method of warfare. “There’s no clear-cut moment the war is launched, it just gradually expands, and because media are driven by Hollywood narratives, they are victims to the absence of a clear first act,” he wrote.
He warned that, without public outcry, Obama’s wars are likely to continue to expand through the end of his presidency and beyond.
“This is the new normal, and it’s a new normal the press codifies every time it treats Obama’s ever-expanding war as dull and barely newsworthy,” Johnson concluded.
(Source / 13.08.2016)
A period of cautious relative calm was been reported in Libya’s northern city of Sirte yesterday following fierce battles between forces loyal to the government of National Accord and Daesh.
Sources close to Al-Bunyan Al-Marsoos, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told the Anadolu Agency: “Calm continues in all the fighting axes in the residential neighbourhoods, north of Sirte.”
A spokesman for Misrata Central Hospital, Akram Kulaiwan told the news agency that 17 soldiers were killed in yesterday’s fighting, while 86 others were wounded.
He did not have information on losses among Daesh fighters.
On Wednesday, pro- government forces backed by the United States said they had seized the Islamic State’s last stronghold in the country, in the seaside city of Sirte.
(Source / 12.08.2016)
Pentagon officials said the attacks were carried out in keeping with their ongoing approach to fighting ISIS
A photo from 2011 shows buildings ravaged by fighting in Sirte, Libya. Islamic State militants have controlled the city since August 2015. The U.S. military has announced ongoing airstrikes against targets in Sirte.
US warplanes have attacked Islamic State forces in Libya, the Pentagon has announced, at the start of what US officials say will be a sustained offensive against the militant group outside Iraq and Syria.
Isis positions in the strategic port city of Sirte were hit by manned aircraft and drones on Monday, after a request from the UN-backed unity government, the Pentagon said.
Peter Cook, the Pentagon press secretary, said “additional US strikes” against the group in Sirte were to come. Their goal, Cook said, will be to enable local US allies make a “decisive, strategic advance” on Sirte, which for the past eight weeks has been the site of fierce urban fighting between forces loyal to the unity government and entrenched Isis fighters.
Cook said the attacks – which included “precision strikes” against an Islamic State tank and other vehicles – were launched after requests from the Tripoli government, which nominated the targets.
Fayez Serraj, the prime minister of the UN-backed government in Tripoli, said in a televised statement that the airstrikes caused “severe losses to enemy ranks”. No US ground forces will be deployed, he said.
“The presidency council, as the general army commander, has made a request for direct US support to carry out specific airstrikes,” Serraj said. “The first strikes started today in positions in Sirte, causing major casualties.”
Serraj said that the strikes will not go beyond Sirte and its surroundings, adding: “This is the time for the international community to live up to its promises to the Libyan people.”
The latest airstrikes are not the first time the US has targeted Isis in Libya – US warplanes attacked an Isis training camp in Sabratha in February and a senior Isis figure in November – but that did not herald a sustained operation. The US has also launched strikes and raids against al-Qaida targets in the country since 2011, when Nato conducted an air war against dictator Muammar Gaddafi.
Gaddafi’s death, at the hands of local revolutionaries, left a vacuum that Isis has sought to fill, something Barack Obama has called the “worst mistake” of his presidency.
US special operations forces have been deployed in Libya since December, in an attempt to seek local “partners” in the fight against Isis, and Libyan commanders say that American and British special forces are advising their forces on the ground.
Cook said US forces are not participating on the ground in the current fight in Sirte, but did not say that US ground forces have left Libya entirely.
The US-backed forces have had successes against Isis in recent months, taking Sirte’s port away from the radical jihadist group. US and British forces provided logistics and intelligence support for the operation.
But local forces have struggled to crush the remaining Isis fighters who have established defensive positions in the city. The US estimates Isis has fewer than 1,000 fighters in the city, representing the bulk of its strength in Libya.
The battle against Isis has been led by militias from Misrata, Libya’s third city, which are aligned to the new government. The offensive began in early June, with sweeping gains that crushed Isis’s self-declared caliphate that had stretched 125 miles along Libya’s coast.
But the fight for Sirte itself has proved a bloody affair, with the Misrata militia suffering more than 300 dead and 1,300 wounded in a grim attritional struggle.
Isis fighters holed up in the city have exacted a steady toll on the pro-government militias with snipers and suicide carbombs attacking Misratan lines. Isis units have built heavily defended positions amid homes and offices, posing problems for Misratan units who lack artillery and tanks
“It has been very difficult to dislodge them. This is the kind of international help that is needed,” said Dr Guma El-Gamaty of Libya Dialogue, the Tripoli government’s supervising authority.
El-Gamaty added: “The fight against Isis in Libya is not just a Libyan problem, it’s an international problem.”
It is unclear how many civilians remain in Sirte. Most of the population have fled since Isis first took over the city last year, but a small portion have stayed.
Senior US officers have indicated they seek a lasting victory against Isis in Libya.
Marine general Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, said in a January appearance with France’s chief officer that they sought “decisive military action” and warned of the need for “a way ahead” to defeat Isis’s Libyan rise.
Cook said the current operation would continue as long as the unity government requests support.
The UK has confirmed reconnaissance flights are providing intelligence over the battlefield, but when asked about the prospect of UK planes joining in the airstrikes, a British ministry of defence spokesman said: “There is no UK involvement and no plans at present to do anything similar.”
The UK said its contribution to an Italian-led force that has been mooted to support Libya’s government of national accord would be primarily to help with training, with about a third engaged in force protection.
Cook cited the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) as legal authorization for the strike. That open-ended authorization long predates the existence of the Islamic State, and was originally drawn up to allow attacks on al-Qaida.
(Source / 02.08.2016)
Rather than a strike against ‘Islamic State’, this was Obama striking a blow against his political enemies and their mercenary armies.
Today, whenever we read a report about an event such as this we have to read between the lines and use our wider knowledge to figure out what exactly is going on behind the scenes to have caused this event to happen.
We very strongly suspect that this air strike was against CIA/Israeli assets that are part of the group that, from 2001 onwards ran Gaddaffi’s intelligence services and with Dick Cheney acting as de facto ‘Governor General’ of Libya, set up prisons and a rendition transit facility.
Again, we remind the reader that the US government, military and intelligence agencies cannot be viewed as a monolithic entity, rather they are divided into factions and this air strike is part of the ongoing struggle between those factions. In this case, we have Obama’s White House faction striking at their political enemies in the Pentagon-Neocon-CIA-Israel faction.
The timing of this strike is significant, coming at a time when the US is in the midst of a very nasty election where Hilary Clinton has been continually lambasted for her supposed role in the fall of Gaddaffi in 2011. Obama is entering the final months of his presidency so he is able to make some moves against his political enemies now that he couldn’t risk earlier, hence this air strike.
US launches air strikes on IS in Libya
The United States has carried out air strikes on positions of so-called Islamic State (IS) in Libya, following a request by the UN-backed government there, the Pentagon says.
The strikes targeted positions in the port city of Sirte, an IS stronghold.
Libyan PM Fayez Sarraj, in a televised address, said the strikes caused “heavy losses”.
Western powers have become increasingly concerned at IS’s growing presence in Libya.
The air strikes are the first such US military intervention co-ordinated with the Libyan unity government.
There have been two previous US attacks on IS targets in Libya – last February and in November.
The Pentagon said Monday’s strikes, authorised by President Barack Obama, were in support of government forces currently fighting IS militants.
“These actions and those we have taken previously will help deny ISIL a safe haven in Libya from which it could attack the United States and our allies,” the Pentagon statement continued, using another term for IS.
Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook said the strikes hit “precision targets”, including a tank, in response to a request from the Libyan administration in the past few days.
It now appears the US has formally started a sustained air campaign to degrade the IS group’s capabilities in Sirte. The jihadists have been losing ground there in recent months, but the armed groups fighting it have been witnessing an increasingly high death toll.
An advanced air campaign could speed up the removal of IS militants from their biggest stronghold in the country. The Pentagon has carefully attributed its latest move to the unity government’s request to help its forces.
But these anti-IS forces are only loosely allied to the government in Tripoli. The wider military and militia forces across Libya are still embroiled in local rivalry. In the aftermath of campaigns of this kind, the US, and other countries involved in Libya, will probably be left with more questions than answers over the stability of the country and the local forces they backed.
The government began an offensive against IS fighters in Sirte in May and said two weeks ago that it had made its largest gains to date.
Western officials say the number of IS militants in Libya, previously estimated at 6,000, is declining in the face of concerted government action and pressure from other militia.
Mr Cook said fewer than 1,000, possibly several hundred, remained in Sirte, and no US forces were on the ground in connection with “this operation”.
Libya has become increasingly divided since the fall of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, with competing governments and rival militias seeking to gain territory and influence.
The chaos had left Libya vulnerable to an influx of IS fighters, many from Syria.
The United States has voiced strong backing for the unity government, or Government of National Accord, which began operating from the capital, Tripoli, in April.
US Secretary of State John Kerry declared in May that it was the “only way to generate the cohesion necessary to defeat Daesh [IS]”.
(Source / 01.08.2016)