Egypt, UAE Send Military Support to Libya’s Haftar

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has offered urgent military support for the forces of Libyan General Khalifa Haftar, who is fighting against the internationally-recognised Libyan government in the capital Tripoli.

Egypt also dispatched military experts to the battlefields in Libya to fight side-by-side with Haftar’s forces, Arabi 21 reported.

Arabi 21 cited reports by a Russian newspaper that the UAE has sent the Pantsir Defence System S1 to Haftar’s forces, which will allow them to combat the fighter jets of the Libyan government, which pushed Haftar’s forces from the airport on Tuesday.

In addition to the Pantsir Defence System, the military aid included anti-aircraft missiles, artillery ammunition and night sighting devices.

A couple of days ago, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi received Aqila Saleh, the speaker of Haftar’s parliament, during which the president reiterated his “full support” for Haftar.

On 4 April 2018, Haftar launched a military campaign to occupy Tripoli and oust the Libyan government. Haftar’s attack coincided with UN plans to hold a national dialogue conference in Libya, which was undermined by Haftar’s campaign.

Khalifa Haftar has launched his offensive against Tripoli with remarkable struggling on his forces’ part to advance on or maintain positions in southern Tripoli, especially after their supply lines from Al-Jufra to Gharyan has been destroyed.

The western zone forces under the Presidential Council’s command said earlier they had attacked a military convoy moving toward Al-Jufra, leaving many fighters killed or injured.

Central zone forces said they had also controlled a supply line for Haftar’s forces after they had seized the road between Al-Jufra and western region so the supplies cannot reach Gharyan and Tarhouna.

Meanwhile, heavy crashes have erupted on Tripoli Airport frontline with Volcano of Rage Operation saying its forces have seized the main entrance gate, VIP lounge and other important areas of the airport.

The Libyan Air Force also carried out several airstrikes to back up the forces on the ground, striking Haftar’s forces in Ain Zara, Wadi Rabea and Tripoli Airport areas, let alone a strike by Haftar’s warplane on its own forces mistakenly at the eastern part of the airport.

Clashes are still ongoing in and outside the airport as senior leaders from Presidential Council’s forces say the battle for the airport and Qasir Benghashir will soon end on victory.

Libya has been engaged in civil war since 2011 when former Prime Minister Muammar Gaddafi was overthrown against the backdrop of the Arab Spring.