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UN losing poker hand


UN losing poker hand

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In poker, smart players know that the best thing to do with a weak hand is dump it.  Not so the United Nations. Libya is doubling its stake continuing to back the failing Government of National Accord (GNA), hoping that by reopening its UN base in the capital, the previously fortified ‘Palm City Complex’, things will improve as well as sending in Gurkha ‘Security Guards’.  It might make a difference if they increase the numbers to 500, or even better, a 1,000, then the Gurkhas could wipe the floor with all the Tripoli-based militias.

The UN omit mentioning this. For 200 years the Gurkhas have been the most feared force in the British Army. If anyone can destroy the Tripoli militias, they can, but what’s the point? Why shore up an unelected five-man government?

The GNA was created by the UN two years ago to unite the country and end the civil war. Instead, the GNA’s cabinet are unable even to unite Tripoli, which is ‘controlled’ by various militias. Hence the need for Gurkhas, to stop militias overrunning Palm City, its ostentatious UN compound, itself a provocation to the Libyan people.

The elected parliament in Tobruk, rival to the GNA, is increasingly calling the shots. Thanks to the increasingly popular Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, Tobruk now controls the majority of the country and its oil infrastructure and ports. The idea that the GNA will ever rule over areas held by Tobruk is laughable. But, having created the GNA, the UN remains determined to back it.  Last week Haftar banned GNA personnel from visiting the east, so much for the alleged French July détente efforts.

What makes the UN case so hopeless is that outside powers are split and at odds – in particular France and Italy – over who to support.

One European country is even pondering supporting the son of the late Colonel Gaddafi, so desperate has the situation become.

Italy supports the GNA, because militias in western Libya are in a position to stop people-smuggling.  However, it faces parliamentary elections in 2018 and politicians are aware the electorate will focus on the immigration issue.

Most migrants from Libya end up in Italy, not France, and for Paris, migration is less important than combating terrorism. Haftar is already combating Islamist terrorists in Libya, making France a natural ally.

“Serraj leverages off of Italian support,” said Jalel Harchaoui, a doctoral candidate in geopolitics and Libyan commentator, adding “and you can be sure Haftar makes use of the prestige of France’s apparent support for his military campaign. On the ground, the inability of foreign states to coordinate among themselves on Libya has always generated more chaos.”

In July, Fayez Serraj, the UN GNA designated prime minister met with Haftar in Paris to sign a peace deal between the two sides. But neither leader actually signed the document. In an interview with France 24, Haftar later said: “Serraj is a good man, but he cannot implement what he agrees to.”

Russia showed its support for Haftar by inviting him aboard an aircraft carrier earlier this year. It has since hedged its bets, insisting it is working for reconciliation by talking to all sides, including the Misrata-based Al-Bunyan Al-Marsoos (BMB).

The BMB militia, surprisingly, pledged its support for an unknown multi-millionaire businessman Basit Igtet, a Swiss based Libyan with alleged links to Israel and designs on becoming president of Libya.

Be clear. The BMB Militia are enemies of Haftar’s LNA.

Lev Dengov, head of the ‘Russia’s Contact Group for a Libyan settlement’, recently said: “Tripoli and Tobruk personnel share the same embassy building in Moscow, engineered by us, to bring them closer to each other.”

Britain is trying to have it both ways. Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, who presumably facilitated the Gurkha’s deployment, visited Serraj to show support, flying east to see Haftar on August 24 at his headquarters, urging the field marshall to keep to the ‘unsigned’ agreement announced in Paris. Why should Haftar? It’s farcical.

The United States has kept a low profile thus far, though rumour has it there has been a shift in policy in the last few days. Expect Rex Tillerson to get involved in the near future.

With the big powers so divided, and the GNA experiment having failed, the new UN envoy, Ghassan Salame, a Lebanese politician, said by some to be distrusted by the Russians, would have done better to dump the GNA.

Instead Salame is planning to send UN staff and ‘British Gurkhas’, disguised as ‘guards’, into the Tripoli cauldron, putting many lives needlessly at risk to support a failed and unelected government.

When will the UN throw in its losing hand? And when will Russia return to the aces it had when it supported Haftar?

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Fuel shortage in Libya capital after fighters close pipeline


Fuel shortage in Libya capital after fighters close pipeline

Fuel supply to Libya's capital is regularly interrupted by militia or striking employees

Fuel supply to Libya’s capital is regularly interrupted by militia or striking employees

Libyans queued in long lines outside petrol stations in the capital Tripoli on Tuesday after fighters forced the closure of a fuel pipeline to the city.

On Monday, “an armed militia trespassed (at) Zawiya Oil Storage Depot and forced the workers (in) the control room to stop pumping the fuel to Tripoli,” Libya’s oil company said in a statement in English.

The National Oil Corporation said it changed the route of “fuel vessels heading to Zawiya port to discharge in Tripoli port”, though warehouses in Tripoli were still at good levels.

But on Tuesday in the capital, 50 kilometres (30 miles) to the east of Zawiya, several petrol stations were closed while long queues formed outside others.

 

Libya descended into chaos after the 2011 uprising that toppled and killed  Moamer al-Kadhafi, with rival governments and militias vying for control of the oil-rich country.

Living conditions have deteriorated in the capital, where residents have faced power cuts, fuel shortages, dizzying price hikes, and a cash crunch.

A UN-backed unity government has failed to improve the situation or assert its authority across the country.

What the Media Won’t Tell You About Saudi Arabia


What the Media Won’t Tell You About Saudi Arabia

 

Mossad officer leading ISIS as mosque Imam arrested in Libya


Mossad officer leading ISIS as mosque Imam arrested in Libya

 

By Ian Greenhalgh on August 27, 2017

[Editor’s note: We have known for a long time that US, Israeli & Saudi officers were leading ISIS, this latest incident is just further proof of that. Ian]

preacher Abu Hafs’ real name is Benjamin Efraim, an Israeli national operating in one of Mossad’s special units which conduct espionage operations in Arab and Islamic countries.

 

 

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ABNA
Mossad officer leading ISIS as mosque Imam arrested in Libya

Libyan authorities arrested a leader and mosque preacher of the ISIS terrorist group who later confessed to be a Mossad officer.

According to the Libyan authorities, preacher Abu Hafs’ real name is Benjamin Efraim, an Israeli national operating in one of Mossad’s special units which conduct espionage operations in Arab and Islamic countries.

The Libyan authorities said the Mossad spy has started his career in Libya by leading a 200-member ISIS-affiliated group and moved to Benghazi in disguise as a preacher.

According to them, Abu Hafs had attempted to infiltrate Egypt, adding that the group, under his command, is among the most barbaric terrorist groups which had threatened to export war to Egypt.

The report came in the backdrop of a number of reports that said ISIS Leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was also a Mossad agent although no credible evidence has yet been presented to substantiate the claim.

When the terror outfit attacked Iraq and conquered Mosul some three years ago, numerous reports have surfaced the media disclosing that tens of Mossad agents are leading ISIS fighters.

The report came as speculations are increasing within the ranks of ISIS over the possible successor of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi after the recent reports about his death.

According to last month reports, ISIS’s leader in Libya Jalalulddin al-Tunisi and ISIS’s leader in Syria Abu Mohammad al-Shamali are the main two picks to lead the terrorist group after al-Baghdadi.

Jalalulddin al-Tunisi, whose real name is Mohammad Bin Salem al-Oyoni, was born in 1982 and is a resident of the town of Masaken in Souseh province in Central Tunisia.

Al-Oyoni has also acquired the French nationality after his trip to the European country before joining terrorist groups in Tunisia in 2011-2012.

Al-Oyoni joined ISIS in Iraq and Syria in 2013 and 2014.

American and Iraqi sources claimed that six commanders of ISIS, including a Belgian-Algerian and a French member of the terrorist group are read to be the successor of al-Baghdadi.

MEET THE KEY PLAYERS FIGHTING IN LIBYA


MEET THE KEY PLAYERS FIGHTING IN LIBYA

Since Qaddafi’s downfall, Libya has been overtaken by a chaotic mix of rival governments, armed groups and jihadi militants. ISIS has established bases in Libya, while an Al-Qaeda affiliated group is also active.

The Government of General National Congress (GNC)

Who?

On the 8th of August 2012 the NTC has officially handed over power to the General National Conference. In June 2014 the House of Representatives was democratically elected but the GNC did not accept this defeat. Thus they brought in the Misurata militias to burn the international airport of Tripoli and cause the biggest environmental disaster in Libya. All militias are financed by GNC and GNA otherwise they would have been overthrown.

 Where?

The GNC is based in Tripoli where they took power in August 2014, the GNC represents the Muslim Brotherhood and all other fanatic sects. Holds the capital of Tripoli under captivity till today together with the GNC.

Aligned with?

The GNC has a broad base of Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, England, France and the USA support. All these countries support the Muslim-brotherhood as moderate muslims.

The Government of National Accord (GNA)

Who?

Established in early 2016 after a U.N.-backed negotiation process, the GNA represents the international community’s hope for a return to peace and stability in Libya. It is led by the Presidential Council, headed by Prime Minister Fayez al-Serraj, a trained architect with little political experience prior to his appointment.

Where?

The GNA is based in Tripoli, the country’s capital located in western Libya. Which is under captivity of  the two governments  the GNC and the GNA..

Aligned with?

The GNA has a broad base of international support. The U.S. ambassador to Libya, Peter Bodde, visited Serraj in Tripoli on Tuesday—the first visit by an U.S. ambassador since 2014, where Safira Deborah run out off  Tripoli even-though she praised the Islamists and  five years after Islamist militants killed four U.S. officials, including the then-ambassador Christopher Stevens—where he pledged support the NTC, promising to assist with expanding its “counter-terrorism capacity” and train Libya’s armed forces. Various militias who are financed are also supportive of the 2 governments in Tripoli.

Fayez al-Serraj

Prime Minister of Libya’s Government of UN backed Gov, Fayez al-Serraj, attends a news conference with the U.S. ambassador to Libya Peter Bodde and Marine General Thomas Waldhauser, the top U.S. military commander overseeing troops in Africa, in Tripoli, Libya. Serraj represents the international community’s hope for restoring stability to Libya. HANI AMARA/REUTERS

The Libyan National Army

Who?

The Libyan National Army (LNA) constitutes the remnants of the country’s military, defeated under Qaddafi in the 2011 revolution and disbanded. It is led by Khalifa Haftar, who has pledged to fight terrorism in Libya but has rejected the authority of the GNA and the GNC. Haftar served alongside Qaddafi in the Libyan military, but later plotted to overthrow Qaddafi and fled Libya to the United States in the mid 1980s. He thought he had a senior role in forces that overthrew Qaddafi in 2011 till he had General Abdel Fatah Younes assassinated .

Where?

Haftar and his forces are based in the eastern city of Tobruk and control much of eastern Libya, including valuable oil fields and pipelines. The LNA has also been battling for control of Benghazi, Libya’s second-largest city, since 2014 against the Benghazi Revolutionaries Shura Council (BRSC), a group of Islamist militias and jihadi groups including Ansar al-Sharia, the main militant group in the country.

Aligned with?

While Haftar has refused to endorse theGNC and GNA, he met with Serraj recently in the United Arab Emirates for talks; Haftar released a statement calling for changes to the U.N.-backed deal that formed the GNA. Haftar has also courted international support from Russia.

Khalifa Haftar

General Khalifa Haftar during a press conference in Amman, Jordan, August 24, 2015. Haftar commands armed forces in the east of the country and has so far refused to recognize the U.N.-backed government in Tripoli. KHALIL MAZRAAWI/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

The Self-proclaimed Islamic State militant group (ISIS) in Libya

Who?

Since late 2014, ISIS has gradually built up its fighters and presence in Libya. Some former pro-Qaddafi strongholds turned to the jihadi group after their leader’s downfall, while the group has also been boosted by a flow of foreign fighters, many from other Arab states. The group’s leader, Iraqi national Abu Nabil, was killed in a U.S. airstrike in late 2015; it is unclear whether a new leader has been appointed, although an ISIS publication carried an interview with Abdul Qadr al-Najdi in March 2016, identifying him as the “emir tasked with administering the Libyan provinces.”

Where?

From 2012 till 2015 the jihadi group main base was Derna on the East side of Libya till it was destroyed what was left moved their base to Sirte until late 2016, a coastal city in central Libya that was Qaddafi’s hometown and was captured by ISIS in June 2015. But after six months of fighting, pro-government forces liberated the city from the militants in December 2016. ISIS has carried out attacks in all Libya’s major cities, including Tripoli, and previously controlled the cities of Sabratha in the west but has since lost control of all three.

Aligned with?

The group is aligned with Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the purported caliph of ISIS who is thought to be based between Iraq and Syria. ISIS in Libya has on occasion cooperated with Ansar al-Sharia, but the latter group has not given its allegiance to Baghdadi and has suffered defections to the former.

Misrata Libya ISIS

Libyan security forces and citizens inspect the damage after a car bomb attack on a security post in the Saddada area near the eastern Libyan city of Misrata, on April 13, 2016. The city was retaken from ISIS in December 2016 by pro-government militias. STRINGER/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

Ansar al-Sharia

Who?

Formed in 2012 after a merger of several Islamist militias, Ansar al-Sharia (ASL)—whose name means “Partisans of Islamic Law”—are an extremists militant group calling for the imposition of Islamic law across Libya. The group was headed up by Mohammad al-Zahawi, a Libyan imprisoned under Qaddafi; but the group said in January 2015 that Zahawi had been killed, and it is unclear whether a replacement has been appointed. U.S. officials also blamed ASL for the Benghazi consulate attack, although the group denied responsibility.

Where?

ASL is based in Benghazi, where it has been fighting against General Haftar’s forces for several years as part of the Shura Council.

Aligned with?

In 2014, the U.N. added Ansar al-Sharia’s brigades in Benghazi and Derna to its sanctions list of groups and individuals associated with Al-Qaeda, the global jihadi franchise. The U.N. said that ASL ran training camps for fighters traveling to Syria, Iraq and Mali. The group itself has denied links to Al-Qaeda and has in recent years focused its energies on charitable and da’wah—spreading the faith of Islam—in a bid to shake off its image as a militant group.

Benghazi Revolutionaries Shura Council (BRSC)

An umbrella group of Islamist militias and jihadis, including ASL, the BRSC is based in Benghazi and battling against Haftar’s forces for control of the city. In this respect, it is fighting alongside ISIS, and the group has experienced tensions because of the association with the militant group, according to the European Council on Foreign Affairs.

Various militias and brigades

Libya is home to a vast collection of local and tribal militias, some of which support the U.N.-backed government, others which are concerned with local interests. Prominent among these are the Misrata brigades, which played a key role in liberating Sirte from ISIS; the Zintan brigades, who  captured Qaddafi’s son Saif al-Islam in 2011; and the Third Force, a GNA-backed militia accused of perpetrating an attack on an airbase in southern Libya earlier in May that killed 141 people, mostly soldiers loyal to Haftar.

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