Anti-Islamist Libyan general to meet with Israeli officials in Jordan

Libyan General Khalifa Haftar. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

( Libyan General Khalifa Haftar, who is attempting to form a coalition to fight Islamists in Libya, will reportedly meet with Israeli officials in the Jordanian capital of Amman.

According to the U.K.-based Arabic newspaper Al-Quds Al-Arabi, which was cited in a report by The Jerusalem Post, Haftar secretly visited Egypt twice last week. On the trip, he received 400 containers of weapons to help fight Islamic extremists in Libya.

The Egyptian military recently launched attacks on groups aligned with the Islamic State terrorist organization, in response to Islamic State’s murder of 21 Egyptian Christians. Egypt, along with its Arab allies such as Jordan, has called for international intervention in Libya to combat the growing threat of radical Islam. Some have compared Haftar’s efforts to combat Islamist terror to the approach of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi.

Meanwhile, Libyan Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni on Tuesday criticized the United States, United Kingdom, and European Union for failing to support his government’s battle against a rival movement called the Libya Dawn, which seized the Libyan capital of Tripoli last year. 

“Unfortunately, the international community, and especially the United States, Britain, and the European Union, have refused to arm the Libyan army,” Thinni told Al-Arabiya.

“Libya Dawn is part of militant Islamists which get weapons, ammunition, and supplies from all over the world,” he said. “But America and Britain have other ideas against the interest of the Libyan people.”

Al-Thinni has been heavily criticized within Libya for failing to provide citizens with basic resources such as gas, electricity, and medicine. Some have called for al-Thinni to quit and hand power over to Gen. Haftar, who recently merged his forces with army troops in eastern Libya to fight Islamist groups there. The president of the Libyan parliament, meanwhile, has proposed appointing Haftar as the country's top military commander, Reuters reported.

Posted on February 25, 2015 .