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Libya: A Geopolitical Reading of the Conflicting Military Formations – Who is with whom and Why ?!

مُتاح أيضًا بـ: العربية (Arabic)

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Prepared and written by: Akram Mukhtar

Review and editing: Khalil Al Arabi Mohammad ommaran

Introduction:

Although the February revolution is approaching the tenth anniversary, Libya still suffers from civil war and external interference, after the revolution’s course turned into an armed conflict as a result of the bombing of peaceful demonstrators by medium and heavy weapons by the Gaddafi dictatorial regime. Then he opened the armories, after which there was the armed conflict between the dictator’s militia and the revolution’s militia. Since that time, the map of the armed formations in Libya, which was made during the Libyan revolution and its aftermath, has changed continuously, whether at the spatial level or in terms of ups and downs in the balance of power between other militias, or at the level of alliances among them, which differed as important new facts emerged, which influenced the course of events. These formations have become the main engine for the convulsed political process in Libya, and even more importantly, they have become the engine of citizens’ lives deciding the stability of society or its absence.

The difficulty concerns the attempts to describe the form of the military scene in Libya without aligning with one party or the other and giving legitimacy to one formation or the other, especially in the dilemma (of terms), where this problem still exists, especially since most of the terms no longer have a real meaning. Every term has a structure whose meaning is only realized by its integrity and if one part of this structure is disturbed or absent, the term loses its content and becomes merely letters.

For example, we find that the term army is one of the most used terms between the two parties to the conflict today in Libya, in the belief that this term is what represents the nature of legitimacy and thus leads to stigmatizing the other as illegal, except that the two parties forget that this term has a structure that must be available. It is well known that armies have specific criteria that are required, so that we can call a given force the term (the national army).

From this standpoint, this paper is considered a pause in hopes of understanding the structural architecture of the two parties of the armed conflict today in Libya. What is meant here is the forces of the National Accord Government and the General Command forces under the command of General Khalifa Haftar.

Through this paper, we try to answer the following questions:

  • What is the background of the armed formations of these forces at the tribe or ideology level?
  • How do alliances exist between those formations, some of which were previously hostile to others?
  • What made these formations agree on one path?

These questions are answered in the geographical framework of the Western region in Libya, as it is the current battlefield that started since April 2019, in addition to being among the most geographical areas where the armed fractions spread.

This attempt does not seek to make any judgments on any of the two the parties of the conflict and does not attempt to legitimize one party without the other, but rather seeks to describe and analyze the form of compatibility that occurred between these formations, and also the backgrounds that made these formations unite their interests despite their difference in the past. This is in an attempt by DAAM centre to contribute to find a mechanism to understand these formations and contribute to think in the process of integrating them into society and building a strong Libyan national army in accordance with the specifications and proper structure of this valuable and noble naming (term). DAAM centre believes that a good and deep understanding of the problem and its roots is key to developing the correct diagnosis and treatment plan for solving that issue.

Methodology:

The analytical descriptive approach was applied on in this paper in addition to using the output of the work sessions that we carried out at the level of the Western region with influential personalities within each region. We relied on this output in many points in the content, without naming those who preferred to keep their identity secret due to the seriousness of the file under the current insecure and unstable situation in Libya.

This paper was also divided into six axes detailing the status of armed factions during the ongoing conflict, as well as the roles played by armed formations within each region, and providing an analysis of the choice of each formation of one party to ally with and not the other.

It is no secret to the reader that this file is one of the most missing files while studying the traditional sources such as reports and previous working papers, due to the lack of research in this concern, especially with the complexity of the military situation in Libya and the speed of its change, and this is considered the biggest challenge we faced in preparing this attempt.

Armed Formations in the Western Region : 

The Western region, especially in recent years, is a place of activity for most armed formations in Libya. Which makes it the most complicated area in Libya on this issue, due to several reasons, the most prominent of which was that this region witnessed more and more large arms transfers during the revolution and beyond. Also, the former dictatorial Gaddafi’s regime took Tripoli as a center under a centralized system, one of its most important institutions is the Central Bank of Libya and the National Oil Corporation, which has become the subject of conflict between the rival Libyan parties to control it after the collapse of the state and its security institutions. This is what made Western Libya the destination of most of the armed formations for the purpose of controlling the aforementioned institutions and thus the feature of armaments for the tribes, cities and regions in the West became widespread for the nature of the stage, in order to reach the financial and weapons strength that allows each party to participate in decision-making from within the Libyan capital, Tripoli.

It should be noted that our presentation of these factors is just to give examples and not to limit all reasons. As we mentioned before, this region is the most complicated area in Libya in this matter.

1- The armed factions in the city of Tripoli:

Most of the armed factions in Tripoli were the ones who provided support to the National Accord government and were part of its military strength and provided protection from the start. It also enabled them to enter the capital after the signing of the Skhirat Agreement, which was considered by the international community as the basis for the political system in Libya. Hence the argument of international legitimacy exploited and relied upon by the government of National Accord during the management of its conflicts within the framework of the political crisis.

  • Special Deterrence Force:

Since its establishment, it has headed to a kind of organization, interconnectedness, and commitment within it, which stems from it having visions (Salafism), specifically (Mudkhaliyya), and is considered an extension of the Saraya (the High Security Committee Tripoli), this name which formed the security and military scene of Tripoli specifically in the years (2012-2013). The faction then turned to the organization that we see today.

Although their leaders are mostly from the Friday market area (East of the Libyan capital), we cannot describe them as tribal formation due to their intellectual and ideological nature, which brings the members of this organization from different regions and cities, but they are combined with the Salafi vision of the Mudkhaliya. It is also characterized by the strength of internal cohesion, commitment and non-discrimination among members of the organization for any tribal or other considerations. The efforts have focused on combating drug trafficking and terrorism and has had some experience in this area. Evidence for this is the cooperation that took place between the Deterrent Force and the security services in Britain regarding the accused (al-Ubaidi), where they managed to arrest his brother in Tripoli who was involved in a terrorist operation in Britain in May 2017.

The Deterrent Force has its own positions, including its lack of actual participation in the operation (Dawn of Libya) and its relative delay in joining the recent war on Tripoli to the point that some have accused it of leaning to the leadership forces and General Haftar, but they have returned and participated in the war under the banner of the National Accord Government.

This armed group possesses a prison with a notorious reputation for which, in many reports of human rights organizations, violations occurred, which made it resort to dividing the prison into two parts, a part related to criminal crimes and subject to the administration of the judicial police of the Ministry of Justice and a part called (the Force Prison), which contains a large number of defendants in terrorism and other cases of a religious or moral dimension. It is in one way or another not genuinely subject to the powers of the Ministry of Justice, except within certain limits.

The Special Deterrence Force is one of the most powerful and mighty formations affecting the course of military events in western Libya.

  • The Al-Nawasi Forces (Special 8th Division) :

It is one of the oldest formations in Tripoli, where it was initially established under the name of (The Martyr Nashnosh Brigade), who is a martyr of the February Revolution in a process that he and his companions carried out in the Shat Al-Hanasheer area on the Friday Market targeting a group of the dictator’s forces specifically in May 2011. It is considered one of the strongest armed formations In the city of Tripoli as well as, as in the case of the Special Deterrence Force, it is characterized by internal cohesion. Al-Nawasi is composed of a group of families in the (Shat Al-Henshir) area in Tripoli, which they call a regional background that increases internal cohesion. The force was able to develop from its military capabilities through its affiliation with the Ministry of Interior and securing important and sensitive places in Tripoli, such as the Tripoli sea port, the Libyan Telecom Company, the Abi Sitah naval base, and the Towers complex in downtown Tripoli, which gave it a special status among the armed formations. Al-Nawasi forces participated in all the wars and events that took place in Tripoli, and it was always favored the party with it stands, the last of which was the Dawn of Libya war in 2014, and it does not have a prison inside its headquarters except for a small place designated for detention, contrary to the power of deterrence which made it relatively far from contact with civilians in one way or another. It is noticed that it has a certain activity in a clearly defined area during the recent years that followed the war of the dawn of Libya, and it was satisfied with being present in the big situations related to Tripoli.

This formation supports the National Accord government and is known for its fierce fighting, as it covers a large area of ​​the fighting line on the outskirts of the capital Tripoli in the axes of Salah al-Din, Ain Zara and the Hadaba Project.

  • The Tripoli Revolutionary Brigade : 

The revolutionaries of Tripoli, or (Um al-Kataib), as its affiliates like to call it, was founded in the mountainous city of Nalut during the Libyan revolution. It is considered one of the military factions that participated with a major role in the liberation of Tripoli in August 2011. It was responsible for securing the vital places in the city during its storming in the aforementioned date, and this gave it a different position in its future after that. There is no clear background to this military faction, except that during the years (2017-2018) and until the beginning of 2019, it was one of the most militarized brigades in Tripoli, which includes a large segment of young people from various regions of the Libyan capital and has headquarters in all regions in Tripoli, especially in its four gates. It owned a prison inside the Mitiga International Airport.

This faction developed on the level of its military capabilities and its area of ​​deployment after passing through many stations and events, as it participated strongly in the Dawn of Libya war. In 2017, it succeeded in expelling all armed formations calculated on areas outside Tripoli such as Misurata and others outside the capital, and it also controlled the (Al-Hadaba Military College) prison, which was the headquarters of a military force affiliated with an Islamic reference stream that was responsible for protecting a group of icons of the previous regime. This gave it a special and unique position. It is the largest military force inside Tripoli.

At the end of 2018, it entered into a strong struggle with the 7th Brigade (the Kaniyat) and many of its leaders, especially the second and third rows of it, were lost in this war. Internal conflicts also arose as a result of this war, which led to the retreat of its forces and the loss of many of its capabilities and headquarters, which for him represented the force of geographical spread in the capital. What remains today of this formation is under the banner of the forces of the National Accord Government. It is expected that the continuation of the conflict may lose this faction’s ability to continue in the coming stage.

  • Abu Salim Central Security:

Or what is known (Al-Ghnywat), in reference to its founder (Abdul-Ghani Al-Kakli). This force was specifically formed in late 2012 and the beginnings of 2013 within the Abu Salim region, one of the largest areas in the capital, crowded and diverse in terms of population, where there is a large mixture of all regions in Libya. It was one of the areas supporting the Gaddafi regime, and the last strongholds of the military resistance loyal to it in the capital, Tripoli. After storming it by the (revolutionaries), it became a hotbed for all the armed formations that participated in the liberation of the capital, which created a great struggle between the armed formations within it.

An armed formation called the “Al-Burki Brigade” managed to settle in this area, especially since its commanders came from inside the same area, which gave it a sort of distinction compared to other combinations. However, it was unable to control the military chaos, and here came the role of the support that was provided by the formations from within the aforementioned Friday market area (Special Deterrence Force – Al-Nawasi Division) as they had the primary role in forming this faction and the leadership of this faction was able to absorb the diversity found in the region and worked to make equal representation within it where no one can count this faction on a particular tribe or a particular ideological current, but it will always be in full loyalty to its main supporters, whose backgrounds varied between internal and regional Salafism.

These forces entered into multiple skirmishes with the armed formations affiliated with Misurata and Zintan, which allowed them to develop their military expertise, and enabled them to expel (the Burki Brigade). The latter was participating in its area of ​​influence in Abu Salim, and thus became the owner of the highest word in this region. Central Security actively participated in the Dawn Libya war.

It also misses any specific armed conflict related to Tripoli. It has a prison (notorious) that has increased its reputation and prestige, fully supports the forces of the National Accord government and is clearly active in the hubs of the airport road and the plateau project.

عبد الغني الككلي
  • Military factions, Tajura : 

Tajura is the Eastern suburb of Tripoli and one of its largest gates, in addition to being an area with a rural nature, making it unique and somewhat unique and independent from the capital, along with the conservative and closed nature that does not easily accept or integrate strangers and outsiders.

This privacy created a kind of military balance within it, despite the large number of armed factions and their diverse backgrounds.

Among the most influential formations within it are two factions :

  • The first is known as the Dredret Battalion: an armed formation that possesses a strong military arsenal and wields a large and wide influence in the suburb of Tajura, with regional reference and a family style in most cases, mostly its members from Tajura, and this is what increased its cohesion internally. In addition, it has excellent relations with most armed formations in Tripoli and is in permanent coordination with them. It participated in all the conflicts that occurred in the city of Tripoli, especially at the dawn of Libya. This battalion has multiple headquarters, all within the jurisdiction of Tajura and fights under the banner of the National Accord Government.
  • As for the second, it is the 133rd Battalion (known as Al-Baqara) in relation to its previous before heading it and entering the military field. It is considered one of the factions that possesses a powerful arsenal of weapons and is stationed in the Eastern Tripoli Gate specifically in (Ghout Al-Rumman), this important and sensitive area, which gave it a distinct and relatively effective role in the course of events in Tripoli. One of the examples of this is what happened in 2018 when it tried to enter and control the Matiga Airport and the prison (the Special Deterrent Force), trying to free its members who were detained inside the Special Deterrent Force prison and who were held in connection with criminal cases, according to the recent statements. However, it failed to achieve its goal after one of Tripoli’s bloody days and returned to its headquarters. According to sources who lived through the events, the battalion had participated in the bombing of the Matiga Airport after that during the days of the war that occurred in the middle of 2018 between the factions of Tripoli and the well-known 7th brigade (al-Kaniyat). After that, it became a destination for every person hostile to any of the other armed formations inside Tripoli, as it contains groups affiliated with another formation that has a major military role in the course of events in Libya, especially in Benghazi, which is (the companies defending Benghazi) accused by its opponents that it includes inside it individuals with an extremist Islamic background. The battalion supports the National Accord government, along with the other factions that were hostile in the past, and this clearly shows that the best interest and priority of these militias and formations is to keep the status quo in Tripoli.

2- The 7th Brigade (Al-Kaniyat) : 

This family had no real role in the city of Tarhuna, especially from the military point of view, but the events made this family a front-runner for the scene. It was far from that, as the area extending from the Southern gate of Tripoli, specifically after the international airport, passed through Qasr Bin Ghashir area to the administrative borders of the city of Tarhuna, under a force headed by a person called (Salah Al-Marghani), who belongs to a tribe from the city of Tarhuna. This force is an extension of the armed factions present in Tripoli, where it had a great role in helping Al-Marghani extend his influence over all of this region and helping him create this force, whether militarily or by individuals.

At the same time, within the city of Tarhuna, there were two small and tribal forces. The first belongs to the (Naaji) tribe. It used to relatively express the February mainstream, and the second (the al-Kaniyat) has a tendency to support the former regime. This led to confrontations between them from time to time. The situation continued until one of the Al-Kani sons was killed by members of the Naaji tribe, which enabled Al-Kaniyat to gain support and sympathy from most of the components inside the city of Tarhuna. This gave a large space to the latter to settle its scores with its opponent inside the city and ends its existence. The majority of the Naaji tribe was displaced outside Tarhuna, their military power eliminated, and the city became empty for the domination of Al-Kaniyat.

This force, which has become increasingly influential and widespread in the city, had to expand its geographical scope in order to be a factor affecting the course of events around it, giving it the ability to persist. At the same time, the 2014 war (known as the Dawn of Libya) pushed newly arisen armed brigades to the forefront. The major armed brigades had no way to deal with them except in two ways, either by containment and exploitation, or by confrontation in order to eliminate them.This brigade had gradually a popular incubator in the city of Tarhuna. It adopted the method of intimidation, as it was not lenient with those who disagreed with it. It committed many crimes against its opponents. It also adopted another method based on imparting a sense of protection, especially as the city of Tarhuna suffered from a security vacuum in the past years before the emergence of Al-kaniyat. This made it a haven for many armed brigades from other regions and cities.

In 2018, the Kaniyat faction entered into an armed conflict with the Tripoli military factions, as a result of the latter’s control of decision-making centers in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, she said. The battles ended with an agreement between the warring brigades, after the intervention of the Social Council of the city of Bani Walid. In a short period of time, Al-Kaniyat lined up in the camp of the General Command forces led by General Khalifa Hafter and announced joining him to enter the war on Tripoli against the forces of the GNA. This decision was attributed by many experts to the internal formation of Al-Kaniyat forces, most of whom are affiliated with the former regime in Libya, which General Khalifa Haftar gave an important presence within his forces.The successive victories at this time for the General Command Forces led by General Haftar created a feeling that the return of these forces to the military and political scene in Libya has become a matter of time. Many promoted that this alignment was dependent on granting financial support. However, we consider this completely misguided, as material support was also available in alliance with the GNA.

It should also be remembered that the city of Tarhuna and its tribes were considered among the defeated cities after the victory of the Libyan revolution, as this city played a clear role in supporting and advocating the previous regime before the start and during the revolution in 2011. Thus, it found in the proposal of General Hafter, through its Al-kanyat forces, an opportunity to return again to lead in Libya.

3- The armed brigades in Misrata City (Misrata Military Council/MMC) : 

Misurata has played a fundamental role since the start of the Libyan revolution. This role was not only limited to the level of participation in events, but also to the level of their creation. It also possessed a large and powerful arsenal of weapons. Misurata is considered one of the largest armed cities in the western region and in Libya in general. The (Misurata Military Council) managed all armed brigades in the city of Misurata, despite their diverse backgrounds. The MMC was present in all Libyan cities during the Libyan revolution in 2011 and the city of Misurata maintained it as a major leadership under which all armed formations within the city are integrated.Al-Mahjoub Brigade) and (Al-Halbous Brigade) are the two most powerful and influential brigades within the city, where both are considered to be among the most armed and numerous groups, and their participation was the most decisive factor in all the armed conflicts in which Misurata participated. This was evident in the Operation Libya Dawn (2014) and the Islamic State (ISIS) war in Sirte under the name of (Al-Bunyan Al-Marsous Forces). Next comes less armed and influential armed formations such as the (Al-Somoud Brigade), led by Salah Badi, (Saraya Al-Suwaihli), (Al-Marsa Brigade), and (Hattin Brigade).

Despite the difference in the size of armaments between all these brigades within one city, Misurata did not experienced conflicts between them, as it was the case between the armed formations in other Libyan cities on the basis of survival of the strongest. This can be explained due to two factors. The first is the coherent regional background, and the second is the unification the leadership under the banner of (Misurata Military Council). In practice, the MCM leads the forces of the GNA as its striking force, and without it, the Al-Wefaq forces will effectively collapse. It participates in military operations on the outskirts of Tripoli, in addition to the central region specifically in the vicinity of the city of Sirte, which fell in the grip of the General Command forces led by General Khalifa Hafter.

Linking the positions of the (Misurata Military Council) to the political Islam trend in Libya needs, in our view, a re-analysis. We cannot confirm its description as well. All the positions taken by the (Misurata Military Council), in fact, express the regional dimension of the city, even if it intersects with the attitudes of different mainstreams that are counted on political Islam.

4- Armed brigades in Al-Zawiya city : 

This city, which is located 40 km from the Libyan capital, Tripoli, is demographically mixed. The city of Zawiya is based on the tribe as an authentic and influential part, in addition to the family dimension and the ethnic dimension such as (Karaghla) that forms an integral part of the city.This diversity was not only at the level of the city’s demography, but also exceeded that to the military dimension. Several armed brigades belonging to some tribes appeared, such as (Awlad Saqr), which is one of the largest tribes within the city of Zawiya and has a strong and influential faction, in addition to another group under the name (Al-Khidrawa) relative to the Khudrawi family, which is considered one of the most powerful brigades in Zawiya, in addition to the ones whose name is associated with the name of who leads them. These latter are closer to armed groups than being a brigades or an armed formation compared to those in other Libyan regions and cities.

These brigades are in constant conflict and mutual assassinations of their leaders, and this happens whenever there are conflicts of interest between them. So far, no brigade has been able to extend its control and control the rest of them. It is a trait that you find only in Al-Zawiya, as the city remained in a state of conflict and war. Despite this inconsistent mixture of armed factions, amongst them they encounter any interference from outside the city. This was evident in the 2014 war (Libya Dawn), in which all armed formations in the city lined up side by side to participate in this war and had a prominent role during it.

Today, these brigades are aligning themselves with the Al-Wefaq government against the General Command forces led by General Khalifa Hafter. It has had a fundamental impact on the development of military operations. Many observers believe that the choice of these brigades to stand in the side of the Al-Wefaq government stems from the fact that the latter did not interfere in armed conflicts inside Zawiya nor did it try to make any change, unlike what the scenario of the General Command Forces led by General Khalifa Hafter offers, which may dissolve these entities and integrate them within the General Command Forces without preserving their entity and their leaders.

5- Military Brigades in Wercheffana city:

The complex Libyan scenario as a result of the armed conflict since 2011 has produced victorious cities and defeated cities. Wercheffana is a model of the cities that were considered in the ranks of the previous regime, just like Zawiya city. The city has been subjected to several violations and reprisals that made it take a position against the revolution and its leaders. Thus, it turned into a city hostile to the revolution and the new emerging state. Perhaps this is the fundamental mistake of the February uprising, as it was unable to properly absorb these cities and tribes, specially with the state of military chaos that prevailed after the end of the revolution and the overthrow of the previous regime. This did not provide the climate or the capacity to manage this file in a correct manner.

And because it is one of the cities that were counted on the ranks of the previous regime, there was a kind of siege and prevention with regard to armament, which became the only tool for presence on the Libyan scene after 2011. This situation continued until 2014 when the war of Libya Dawn broke out, which gave an opportunity for this tribe to obtain arms when it decided to line up with one of the parties of the conflict, the city of Zintan. They allied together against Libya Dawn alliance led by (Misurata Military Council). And after the Zintan city forces made a unilateral decision to withdraw from Tripoli without coordinating with its first ally, werchefanna, the latter was bearing the tax of this withdrawal when it suddenly found itself facing the Operation dawn libya alliance alone. The foregoing caused a major displacement in the city. Several houses and buildings were also destroyed in a large retaliatory operation.

After returning, the city became a battleground between the armed, most of which belonged to tribes representing the compositions of wecheffana in general. And a group of powerful formations appeared. They were as follows:

  • The (Sportowat brigade) and (155 brigade) led by Muammar Al-Dhawi, represent the greatest power in wercheffana and their tribal background is (Awlad Mubarak)
  • The Al-Lafa brigade, which follows in its tribal background (Awlad Issa), is the second tribe in terms of power within the city of werchefana.

There are a number of other brigades, such as (Hbotat) and some other small armed formations. This mixture led to the transformation of the city over a period of three years to a place considered one of the most dangerous places in Libya in terms of security, where kidnappings and extortion increased, and the coastal road from Tripoli to Ras Jadir became very dangerous and led to cut the movement in it for years (2015-2016-2017).

In 2017, the government of National Accord announced a military operation to establish security in the city of Wercheffana. This operation was led by forces from the city of Zintan led by Major General Ousama al-Juweili, who managed to split the internal agreement between the aforementioned and wercheffana brigades and persuade the commander of (155 Brigade) (Muammar al-Dhawi) to line up with him in exchange for handing him over the city after eliminating the remaining groups. This is what actually happened. With the help of Al-Dhawi, there was no opportunity for the rest of the battalions to stand up to the power of al-Juweili, and from this date there was a new military reality in the city of Wercheffana.

Muammar Al-Dhawi is allied with the forces of the National Accord government in his war against the General Command forces led by General Khalifa Hifter. He merged the remaining forces from wercheffana, which are (Sportowat-A-lafa-hboutowat).

6- Armed brigades in Zinta City: Zintan Military Council/ZMC

The city of Zintan is the second most powerful military arsenal in the western region, due to its great military role in the Libyan revolution in 2011. It is similar to Misurata in having a military umbrella under which all armed formations in the city meet, which is the ZMM. After the 2014 war known as (Libya Down) and the defeat of the ZMM and its withdrawal from Tripoli, these formations were absent from the military scene for three years, and the military scene changed within them, as two of the largest brigades, the (Al-Sa’qa and al-Qaqaa),

Al-Qaqaa seems to have merged into the thunderbolts led by (Imad Trabelsi) and changed its name to (Special Security Forces), which later announced its joining the General Command forces led by General Haftar in the east to the extent that the General Command chief of staff, Major General Abdel Razzaq Al-Nadhouri, attended the graduation ceremony of the batches of this power.

But at the same time, Major General Osama al-Juweili’s forces continued to be loyal to the forces of the National Accord government, and the situation remained as it was until April 2019 when General Haftar announced his military operation (Flood of Dignity) to liberate the capital (according to his description). Since that date, differences began to appear within the formations of the city of Zintan. There are military factions that announced their joining the National Accord government alongside the strength of Major General Osama al-Juweili, such as the power of Naas (a tribal faction) and the power of al-Qaraj (a tribal faction). The aforementioned Imad Traboulsi force also decided to defect from Haftar forces and join the forces of the National Accord government when the latter gave them an opportunity to return to the city of Tripoli and secure the Western region of the Libyan capital and determine the area of ​​the Andalus neighborhood and its vicinity.

On the other side, we find Major General (Mady) Force Commander of the Western Military Region under General Command forces, led by General Haftar. The strength of Colonel (Fernana) who is the commander of the military police in the Western region, in addition to an armed faction called the (Lightning Victory) battalion and the (Abu Bakr Al-Siddiq) battalion responsible for guarding Muammar Gaddafi’s son (Saif al-Islam).

Those who know the tribal dimension in the city of Zintan are well aware of the cohesion of this city. Therefore, we consider that the new military situation in the city of Zintan and the apparent division of the city is essentially a pragmatic political division based on interests and role-playing. As this city appears to have benefited from the lesson of the Dawn of War in 2014. Actually, this division is a front for real coordination between these factions so that the city of Zintan has a role within the structures of the two sides of the conflict, and thus the city guarantees its presence alongside the victor from both sides of the conflict, through which it can first To have a clear role in shaping the leadership of the political scene in Libya, and secondly, to protect the factions that joined the defeated party and remove it from the circle of defeat. This is confirmed by the absence of a single case of clash for more than a year during the ongoing war, despite the existence of various formations among them.

Conclusion:

The last scene that the war went through in Tripoli, which led to the withdrawal of the General Command forces led by General Khalifa Hifter to the city of Sirte, led to the announcement of a new situation for the armed factions in the Western region. There are new forces that are forming at a time when there are forces emerging from the scene in part or in a complete form, the formations of the city of Al-Zawiya returned strongly to the military arena in the Western region, and it seems that it will not allow it to be excluded this time as it happened after the end of the 2014 Dawn war.As a result, it became in a state of bickering with the forces (Misurata Military Council) that had the greatest power and influence in The Western region, which has become a wider and larger scene, especially in the central region after the defeat of the (Al-Kaniyat) and their exit from their hometown of Tarnah towards the Western region.

As for the rest of the factions, we find that the Tripoli factions are trying to be positioned in a new way, especially as they lost many of their military capabilities in this war, and this is why they started establishing what is called the Greater Tripoli Union, a body that presents a letter that Tripoli with its people seems to suggest that all the armed formations that participated in t April 4 war from Tripoli.

The rest of the factions such as Zuwara and the rest of the Berber formations, Gharyan forces, etc., are likely to line up with the forces of Major General Osama al-Juili (Zintan), where the angle is closer to them, and the latter accepts the idea of engaging other formations of his need for it, unlike Misurata, which is the only one in Libya that can manufacture a certain event, and defend it, and when it triumphs, it often takes advantage of its gains alone without the participation of any of its allies. This is evident from all previous wars that it fought in partnership and alliances with other factions.

It seems that the bilateral alignment between the factions of the military city of Zawiya on the one hand and the forces of Misurata on the other hand is the great title that will form the military scene in the Western region during the coming period, and the rest of the factions will position themselves based on this consideration according to their capabilities and what serves their interests. And in light of the lack of visions to resolve or integrate these armed formations into state institutions in light of the current trend, this means the continued influence of these armed formations in shaping the political and military scene in Libya in general and the Western region in particular.

مُتاح أيضًا بـ: العربية (Arabic)

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