10.02.2021 Author: Vladimir Platov

The US Retaliates After Being Kicked Out of Libya

Security Council meeting on Reports of the Secretary-General on the Sudan and South Sudan.

The Democratic Party of the United States, having regained power in the country with the arrival of Joe Biden to the White House, immediately began not only to twist the former decisions of Republican President Trump, but also to return the “victory gains” acquired during the time of President Obama. It’s not that hard to do today, especially since back in 2009-2017, Joe Biden, as Vice President under Obama, participated with him in the “democratic redistricting of the world.” Although it should be made clear that this was not a redistricting only in the name of “American-style democracy,” but rather in the interests of the Democratic Party of the United States.

So it is not surprising that from his first days in the Oval Office, Joe Biden, sarcastically called “lazy” by his opponents, had his still unclouded gaze set on Libya, where the military intervention was carried out in 2011 by the Democratic Party, under Democrat Barack Obama. Now, 10 years later, the Democratic Party has decided once again to show this poor North African country, which the US has somewhat forgotten about under President Trump, who should be the boss.

The first thing the White House did, through its confidante Stephanie Williams, whom it promoted to acting head of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), was to desperately establish an interim executive, in that country through the decisions of the Forum for Political Dialogue on resolving the Libyan crisis, which ended on February 5. For this purpose, the delegates to this forum were urgently formed from representatives of Libyan society close to Washington, where the core were radicals from the Muslim Brotherhood (a formation banned in Russia), supported by the US intelligence services.

However, it is no longer that easy for Washington to get the upper hand in Libya now. Not only is Libya itself torn apart by internal contradictions today, but the forces involved in this intra-Libyan conflict have become too numerous. Even leaving aside the country’s tribal divisions, which have their own puppeteers behind them, a very serious problem for Washington’s plans could be to counter the two poles of power trying to seize all power in the country and live off the dividends from the sale of the energy resources that Libya is so rich in. These are, of course, the Government of National Accord (GNA) of Fayez al-Sarraj in the West and the Parliament with its subordinate Libyan National Army (LNA) of Khalifa Haftar in the East. Moreover, behind each of these sides are outside players who are thus seeking to take winning positions at the Libyan gaming table and are hardly willing today to voluntarily cede their positions to Washington in the fight for Libya’s oil and gas. These are, above all, Turkey and Qatar, which provide the GNA in Tripoli with serious financial support, arms, and even fighters. And on the other side is the whole international coalition supporting the LNA and Field Marshal Haftar, which includes the UAE, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, France and, sometimes added in by Western analysts, Russia. However, it should be emphasized that in the confrontation between East and West Libya, Moscow takes an equidistant position, recognizing the GNA of Sarraj and giving some signs of attention to Khalifa Haftar, seeking through peaceful diplomatic demarches to reduce the heat of the Libyan confrontation.

Under these circumstances, Washington decided to direct its main blow against “foreign intervention in the Libyan conflict.” Generally speaking, such an initiative could only be welcomed if it were not declared by Washington, which itself has intervened more than once, and even now continues to intervene through its armed forces in the affairs of other states without appropriate UN sanctions. The mere presence of US military units in Syria, where the White House, under the protection of its bayonets, steals other people’s oil, no longer allows it to make such declarations until it removes its own invading troops from the Middle East and Afghanistan.

Nevertheless, at the end of January the US Charge d’Affaires to the United Nations Richard Mills at the UN Security Council demanded the withdrawal of Russian and Turkish troops from Libya. Later, the Greeks, who apparently proactively took on the role of interpreter and engine of Washington’s ideas, clarified that the US’s message was also addressed to the United Arab Emirates.

If one were to believe Mills, it appears that the Russian army is fighting in Libya, yet somehow other than him no one has seen it there. Unless, of course, we count the 57-page report of anonymous “UN observers” fabricated by propagandists in Washington last year, that 800-1200 fighters of notorious Wagner PMC allegedly fight for Marshal Haftar, although they have not even seen these PMC fighters or soldiers of the Russian army fighting in their eyes.

To “add weight” to this propaganda campaign, Mills even commented on a report by US confidant Stephanie Williams, Special Envoy of the UN Secretary General, who also tried, without any evidence or basis, to participate in “exposing foreign servicemen and mercenaries in Libya.”

The day before the debate at the UN on the Libyan issue, Washington’s cronies made an anonymous social media post about an alleged “enormous base of the Russian Armed Forces” in the Libyan desert and even included pictures taken from a drone of some object near the Sirte-Al-Jufra highway with a total length of fortifications of several dozen kilometers. However, as in the case of other such fake US fabrications, it soon became clear that the site was completely empty and abandoned, and was not a “secret Russian base,” but old trenches from the time of the deposed and then murdered American Muammar Gaddafi.

There’s a lot of media speculation surrounding Libya, and one has to be critical of this kind of “information”. The Russian Foreign Ministry has already officially stated several times that there are no Russian servicemen on Libyan territory, and that Russia is not conducting any military intervention in Libya. Earlier, Russian President Vladimir Putin had already said that it was impossible to completely rule out that there might be some Russian citizens in Libya, although they do not represent either Russia itself, or its government. It can in any case be solely a private initiative. After all, a French citizen Maud d’Aimée volunteered to fight against the Ukrainian Nazis in 2018 in the Donbass, and another French citizen Guillaume Couvalier fought on the side of the separatists in 2014-2015, yet no one claims that France sends mercenaries there.

Nevertheless, the fake Russian military presence in Libya continues to be actively used by Washington in its information campaign against Russia. In reality, there are many nationalities on the Libyan fronts: Egyptians, Syrians of different branches of Islam, Sudanese, Malians, other Arabs, even Greeks. And, of course, Turkish citizens. In an interview with Shorouknews, LNA spokesman Ahmad Mismari spoke, for example, about the number of Turkish troops stationed on Libyan territory and provided an update on the situation on the front lines. According to him, Turkey sent from 2,500 to 3,000 troops to Libya to help the GNA to use modern military hardware and equipment from Turkey. In addition, he noted that Turkey has sent tens of thousands of mercenaries and terrorists to the North African country, including fighters from Syria, Chad and other African countries.

It is now very difficult to predict in what direction US foreign policy will develop in any given region under the new administration. But one thing is certain: Washington is clearly unhappy that the US has not just been pushed back, but effectively forced out of Libya. So now it allows itself to accuse the rest of the world of “fanning the Libyan flame”.

But wasn’t it Hillary Clinton, representative of Democratic Party of US, who was the one to come up with and start that fire?

Vladimir Platov, an expert on the Middle East, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

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