Political Observation - Unfolding Events in Libya after Tripoli’s Recapture

Political Observation - Unfolding Events in Libya after Tripoli’s Recapture

Now that the Government of National Accord (GNA) forces have retaken control of all the western coastal cities and recaptured al-Watiya airbase on 18 May, Tripoli has been purged from the remnants of Haftar’s forces and the GNA forces have entered the city of Tarhunah on Friday 5 June, the path is paved for the execution of the Berlin Conference’s recommendations which are expected to marginalise the major powers and shackle the fighting factions with political solutions as America has now achieved all her aims from the proxy war.

First of all, as the oppression and the killing have been lifted and as the collaborating criminal tyrant, Khalifah Haftar who had invited the Russians and the French to kill the Muslims, has been vanquished, the Muslims’ sense of joy is conformant with the sound nature and Islamic fraternity, despite perceiving that the Sarraj government is a tool of the American plan just like Khalifah Haftar; and despite realising that by stripping Haftar of his victories, America is offering a sacrificial lamb in return for the execution of the Berlin Conference’s recommendations that will end the presence of the fighting factions and grant the Sarraj government indisputable authority. This was reflected in the statement of the Libyan interior minister immediately after the liberation of Tripoli and the onslaught on the last stronghold of Haftar in the city of Tarhunah in which he called for a “return to the legitimacy of the state” and added “The interior ministry will assume securing the recently liberated areas immediately and will deploy police officers according to a prearranged plan. They will also effectuate the security directorates and police stations to guarantee the security of the liberation’s acquisitions, uphold security and implement the law.”

It was America who allowed Russia to gain a foothold in Africa and the Southern Mediterranean in order to divert her from focusing on Central and East Asia, weaken her ties with China and generate a rivalry between them in Africa to prevent an alliance between them, generate another rivalry between Russia and Europe, especially France, and drive a wedge between France and Germany, thus leading to entangling all of them and dwarfing their influence, and justifying the function of NATO and enabling it to seize the file of Southern Europe. This is what America has been eager to achieve and what the United States Air Force general and the commander of United States Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa, , Jeffrey Lee Harrigian, expressed by saying “If Russia seizes bases on Libya's coast, the next logical step is they deploy permanent long-range anti-access area denial capabilities.” It is clear from this statement that America intends to drive a wedge between Russia and Turkey; this was corroborated by ambassador Richard Norland’s special briefing via telephone to the State Department in which he said: “We have to recall that the real escalation in this conflict began with the intervention by the Wagner forces from Russia in October, and the Turkish intervention was in reaction to that.” Now that Turkey is no longer affiliated to her, America is compelled to deal with it on the basis of mutual interests, concordance and enticement, without however giving up the attempts to undermine its unity through federalisation; this has recently been reflected in America’s attempts to lend legitimacy to the Kurdish factions, unify their ranks and unify them in preparation for getting them to partake in the forthcoming Syrian negotiations. Erdogan rejected this scenario, yet Turkey continues to proceed according to the logic of pragmatism and the art of the possible rather than according to a doctrinal stance. Although Erdoğan has fallen out with America due to her meddling in Turkish elections to topple him, supporting his opponents, inciting her agents to fragment his party, break his monopoly of the conservative discourse, scatter his partisan, electoral and popular base and exert economic pressure on him, and although he does not see eye-to-eye with her on the issues of the Kurdish entity and East Euphrates, he nevertheless intervened in Libya with an American cover on the grounds of his political interests and Turkey’s national and economic interests, as well as the mutual interest with the US who finds in Erdoğan’s intervention an reassuring sign in her bid to contain the Libyan factions and an important component in the efforts to exert pressure on Russia vis-à-vis her relationship with Bashar Assad, especially as Russia continues to blackmail Erdoğan, distress him with the waves of migration and keep him out of the Syrian file. Meanwhile, Turkey has been for its part exerting pressure on Russia by dragging its feet in settling the file of the al-Nussrah Front in Idlib, supporting Ukraine, getting closer to America who has been attempting to lure Ankara to help her conclude the Deal of the Century through the gates of shipping Iraqi Kurdistan’s oil to the Jewish entity via its seaports, flirting with the Jewish entity which is eager to restore its warm relations with Turkey knowing that it wields influence on Hamas and the Islamic world on the one hand while attempting to complicate matters between Russia and the usurping Jewish entity, and between Russia and Iran with regard to the file of transferring power in Syria and add her to the caravan of the capitulators to the regional solution under the weight of the Caesar Act, the change in the balance of power and the temptations of the reconstruction project on the other hand.

All this indicates an acceleration of political manoeuvring ahead of the forthcoming US elections which have turned into a nightmare for Trump, compelling him to amass further foreign cards to compensate for his failure in tacking the successive domestic crises. The results achieved by the GNA headed by al-Sarraj were concordant with the statement of US ambassador, Richard Norland, who said that “the needless offensive against Tripoli must end so all foreign forces can depart and Libyan leaders who are prepared to lay down their weapons can come together in peaceful dialogue on the issues that divide them,” and the statement of Secretary of State Pompeo who said "A political solution is the only way to unify the country and provide a plan for security, stability, and prosperity for all Libyans."

As for the European Union’s positive statements pertinent to the Turkish-Libyan and the statement of France and Russia on the ceasefire and the need to return to the political process, it is viewed as a flight forward now that Turkey has tipped the balance of power in favour of the GNA with the blessing of the US. This was corroborated by Libyan Parliamentarian, Ahmed Omar Maiteeq, who said at the end of the meetings with the Russians: “We are convinced today that Russia is an important partner in the stability of Libya.” It was also corroborated by the leaked reports on the understanding concluded between Russia and the Libyan side stipulating “withdrawing all the operatives of the Russian Wagner group within the next two days and coordinating the economic and military efforts between the two sides, in exchange for a review of the case of the Russians detained in Tripoli.”

However, all this does not mean the end of Haftar’s role altogether at this stage, through which the US confirmed the failure of the Russian, French and European military planning in settling the battle in favour of Haftar, and tarnished the reputation of Russia’s conventional weapons at the hands of Turkey. America still needs Haftar’s agenda to rein in the opposing factions in western Libya to either integrate or discard them; this could be achieved politically through the Berlin Conference’s recommendations by either integrating Haftar into the government or doing away with him.

This does not also mean the end of Russian and French presence in Libya since their presence would keep them under American manipulation and achieve for her the aims pertinent to the relationships between them as we previously mentioned, especially as the flexibility of American foreign strategies is disposed to absorbing the output of events and reinvesting them in future stages, though she provides all sides with a margin to achieve slight gains, and it is disposed to failure in some cases. 

The unfolding events prove that Muslims are still the fuel for battles which are not theirs; they will not get out of the hole they have fallen into unless they rely on themselves and tie up the loose ends to prevent the interventions of Western colonialist powers, which hardly ever intervene save for their own interests. The first issue they ought to attend to is the divergence in the political powers’ viewpoint towards authority due to their different viewpoint towards life and their embracing of the Western political thought’s output, which has deviated their compass, deepened their rifts and exasperates their fragmentation, infighting and their enemies control over them. 

The first step in the journey towards salvation for our people in Libya now that the balance of power has swayed in their favour amidst the clash in the interests of their enemies and Turkey has intervened, is for the fighting groups, which are destined to be wound-up or integrated under the collaborating leadership of al-Sarraj, to persist in singling out Turkey at this stage with authority and influence to settle the crisis, while exhorting their leaderships to protect them and enable them to implement their volition according to the Shari'ah of Allah the Almighty. Although Turkey is a secular state and acts according to her nationalist interests and international understandings, her people are however Muslim and love Islam; the slogan of Islamic fraternity hoisted by her leadership could be exploited and the veracity of its volition and slogans could be put to the test to protect their brethren in Libya, share the riches with them and strengthen Turkey herself and contribute to her bid to achieve independence, liberation and power instead of letting the people of Libya pay the Jizya to the enemies of the Ummah from their livelihood. Turkey, who has succeeded in sweeping away the mercenaries of the collaborator Khalifah Haftar, and whose president Erdoğan pledged yesterday not to leave the people of Libya under the mercy of the butcher Haftar and his mercenaries, should bulwark Libya against turning into a scene for a war by proxy, and against letting covetous powers plunder her resources. She is capable of doing so if her leaders were sincere in working for the sake of Allah the Almighty and if they shielded themselves with the Ummah who will support them and pin her hopes on them if they severed their links with the international system and relied on Allah the Almighty who says: “and for everyone who places his trust in Allah He is enough.” [al-Talaq-3]

13 Shawwal 1441h
5 June 2020