Media Reports: Haftar in Cairo to Discuss Egyptian Airstrikes on Derna

Media reported that Libya’s warlord of the so-called Libyan National Army(LNA) Khalifa Haftar arrived in Egypt ‘s Cairo to discuss possible Egyptian airstrikes on Derna and other cities like Ajdabiya. Libya Observer cited the New Arab reporting the news from Egyptian sources.

The New Arab added that a meeting between Haftar and his accompanying delegation and the Head of the Egyptian committee on Libyan affairs as well as Chief of Staff Mohamed Hegazy took place on October 28 and several issues were reviewed.

As Egyptian fingers were pointed lately at the claim that the individuals who conducted the last attack in al-Wahat, western Egypt came through the border with Libya, the sources added that cooperation on border security with Haftar’s forces will also be discussed, in addition to the results of Al-Sisi and French President’s talks on the Libyan crisis, the UK-based newspaper added.

There is no doubt that Haftar’s continuous communication with al-Sisi indicated that a relative alteration in Egyptian vision for the solution of Libya’s crisis has surfaced as Cairo will be pushing forth the military solution led by Haftar regardless of the ongoing UN action plan implementation that had already started in Tunisia talks last month.

The newspaper reports,”This push of Egypt sees eye to eye with Haftar’s efforts to seize Libya including the capital’s control, which belongs until now to the UN-brokered government led by Fayez Al-Serraj.”

It explained,”Cairo has a calmer and more gradual strategy than Haftar has. While the whole world would be watching how Al-Serraj government would lose control of the government, there will be no way to reject the real situation that will see Haftar controlling the capital and we will welcome it.”

A couple of days ago, Haftar’s spokesperson Ahmad Al-Mismari claimed that their forces will receive a warm welcome in Tripoli as they advance militarily on the capital to “attack terrorist militias,” vowing to coordinate with Egypt in border security operations.

Egypt’s al-Sisi has been supporting Libya’s strongman and the LNA  to handle the security of the country. Egypt has fears of terror groups in the east of Libya on its borders.

The Egyptian military is active in the Western Desert to stop the inflow of militants and arms trafficking.

In May 2017, the Egyptian Air Force has been carrying out airstrikes in eastern Libya in coordination with Haftar’s forces, following the attack on Coptic Christians in Egypt, which claimed the lives of at least 29 people.

The Islamic State (Daesh) terrorist organization has reportedly claimed responsibility for the deadly attack.

Moreover, the Egyptian warplanes bombed Derna city in May 2017, on what it claimed as locations for Derna Shura Council, and it bombed also Houn as well.

At that time, media outlets reported that Houn was the epicenter for the inexplicable air-attacks, as it received air raids on locations like Al-Mujahid Brigade and Tagreft Brigade, which are part of Al-Bunyan Al-Marsoos operation that rooted out IS from Sirte.

While Egypt claims the airstrikes on Libyan locations is a vengeance for those who were killed in the terrorist attack by IS militants, it was indeed raiding locations for forces that have fought IS militants in Libya and have had victory over them in Sirte and Derna.

According to many analysts, it was beyond certain that the Egyptian airstrikes are meant to pave the way for Khalifa Haftar’s forces to gain more ground in Libya after they had failed to do it themselves in Derna or in Jufra.