Fears of escalating violence in Libya as commander vows to fight until Tripoli is captured

Support us and go ad-free

A commander in Libya whose forces are fighting to take the country’s capital of Tripoli from militias allied with a UN-backed government based there has dismissed an initiative by its prime minister for negotiations to end the crisis. Khalifa Hafter also vowed to press his campaign and rid Tripoli of what he says are “terrorist militias”.

Who is Hafter?

According to Reuters, Hafter considers himself to represent “a bastion against Islamists”. The outlet also explains that, while Turkey’s Islamist government has armed the forces in Tripoli, Hafter’s forces have received supplies from the United Arab Emirates and Egypt.

The BBC explains that Hafter “is popular in the city of Benghazi for his role in driving out Islamists”.

Hafter was once a general in long-time Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi’s army. But he turned against Gaddafi in the late 1980s. According to the BBC, he then devoted “the next two decades towards toppling the Libyan leader”. As the outlet points out:

He did this from exile in the US state of Virginia. His proximity to the CIA’s headquarters in Langley hinted at a close relationship with US intelligence services, who gave their backing to several attempts to assassinate Gaddafi.

Fears of another bout of violence

Hafter spoke on Wednesday to a local news website, almarsad.co. He said “military operations will not stop” until Tripoli is taken.

Read on...

Support us and go ad-free

In April, Hafter’s self-styled Liberation National Army, which is based in eastern Libya, launched the offensive. The campaign, criticised by the UN and aid agencies, has killed hundreds and displaced thousands of civilians. It has also raised fears of another bout of violence after the Western-backed 2011 uprising that toppled and killed Muammar Gaddafi.

Support us and go ad-free

We need your help to keep speaking the truth

Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.

Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.

We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.

In return, you get:

* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop

Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.

With your help we can continue:

* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do

We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?

The Canary Support us