Libya: Second Syria?


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Libyan History

After Muammar Gaddafi’s dead in 2011, Libya is under civil war. The country’s power is divided between two rival authorities. The first one is Government of national accord headed by Fayez al-Sarraj as the country's legitimate authority in West Libya. The second power sharing group is led by Khalifa Haftar, he founded Libyan National Army comprising of rebels in East Libya.

Terrorism remains one of the main areas of disagreement between the above mentioned two groups. On one side GNA wants to peacefully bring the people involved into mainstream, Haftar on other side shows zero tolerance on it and believe in violently eradicating terrorist groups.

Now the country is majorly in controlled by Khalifa Haftar, he had built a strong army. He had launched operation swift thunder under which he fought the terrorist groups and started consolidating oil controlling rights. But the fact is GNA has the backing of united nation provides them authenticity and legitimacy to rule.

The two groups have been fighting over Tripoli since April 2019, the capital city of Libya. The man who wants to take over is Haftar. The battle on going has displaced 1000’s people and more than 200 civilians are killed.

Just when there were peace talks going on between UN and Haftara and people thought that he was on board. But on April 19 2019, just days before UN peace conference on Libya, Haftar surprised everyone by assault on Tripoli.


Who Supports Who?

Some of Haftara’s ally like Egypt and UAE have problem with Government of nation accord mainly because it is links to political Islam and brotherhood. Right now, the world powers are trying to get the rivals to a ceasefire but there are more countries involved in Libya than ever.

The UAE has been providing Haftar with military support for years. It was one of the countries accused of violating the international arms embargo on Libya for giving weapons to Haftar’s LNA. In 2016 the UAE built up a military base in Al Khadi.

Haftar met king Salman of Saudi Arabia. The wall street general reported that Saudi Arabia promised Haftar millions ahead of his military campaign. The money was used to pay the fighters and tribal groups to join Haftar.

Even Egypt has close ties with Haftar. During the assault on Tripoli he visited Egypt and took president Abdel Fattah el sisi’s blessings. Egypt has provided military support to LNA in 2014. Although France publicly supported the UN backed government in Tripoli, it has also provided Haftar with financial aid.

GNA has backing of United Nations, Italy, Qatar and turkey. Though every country has its own personal motive for supporting, by the mean of finance or military keeping in mind the fact that Libya has huge oil resources.


The Recent Issue

On 23rd June 2020, USA stated that Russia is sending more military equipment’s to Libya. This is not the first time, the evidence of Russia backing Haftara are present since 2018. All such incidents are identified by the United Nations. Though the Russian government it’s constantly denying any involvement in militant group.

USA and Russia is closely linked and spy on each other actions. Hence Russian’s military support in that region is seen by USA as a threat to his authority in Middle East. Which is also a direct threat to the oil controlling powers.



By keenly observing the Libyan history and present situation of the country, the power is divided into two blocks. This has also led the division of countries all over the world -one block has countries supporting GNA and the other block is of LNA or Haftar’s army.

By recent news where USA object Russia supplying military equipment to Haftar reminds of the Cuban missile crisis that led to was a peak of tension between two super powers.

Gradually the world may split into two parts on this Libya issue. The backing hold by the two rivals in Libya is primarily due to the abundance of oil resource. Though countries are here for their own benefit, but we cannot ignore the humanitarian crisis.

The large number of civilians are killed, displaced and injured. Also, UN as a global authority should take this matter and decision seriously because even after recognizing GNA countries like Russia are bluntly going against it.

In nutshell if this matter is not sorted in a peaceful and dialogue manner the statement given by Germany that ‘LIBYA WILL BE SECOND SYRIA” may come true and leading to end of humanity again.

Written by – Shalaka Pathak

Edited by – Adrija Saha

Libya: Second Syria? Libya:  Second Syria? Reviewed by Adrija Saha on August 02, 2020 Rating: 5

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