Khalifa Hafter’s recent attack on the Libyan capital of Tripoli was
something of a surprise. Hafter has long imagined he’d eventually end up
ruling Libya, but it wasn’t clear what the instigating event was for
this particular huge offensive.
Recent indications, however, are that Hafter’s attack was directly solicited by the Saudi kingdom, with one advisor saying that they offered “tens of millions of dollars” to pay for the campaign, and were “quite generous.”
Hafter was quick to accept, because in Libyan military terms that really
is a lot of money. The Saudis are just the latest to support Hafter’s
ambitions, with the UAE and Egypt among a list of other regional powers
backing him in the past.
The offensive hasn’t gone as smoothly as Hafter, or the Saudis, had
hoped, and seems to be getting bogged down in Tripoli’s south. While the
UN is trying to resolve the situation, Hafter has enough foreign
backing that they can’t put any real pressure on him to stop the
offensive. Hafter spent the weekend in Egypt, meeting with their junta,
and it’s likely that he came out of that just further encouraged about
the endgame of Libya.
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