Can Khalifa Haftar defeat terrorism in Libya?

After the 2011 tragic events in Libya, when NATO invaded and brought chaos and devastation, that same NATO has refused to settle the socio-political crisis.

Having slain the national Libyan leader, Moammar Gaddafi, the U.S., under the pretext of promoting democratic values, initiated Libya's division among various tribes and groups.

The National Transitional Council (NTC), created on 27 February, 2011, and its successor, the General National Congress (GNC), failed to unite the country under a viable government.  When they were active, neither an effective government nor a lasting state foundation was created.  In fact, the country plunged into anarchy.  This freed the hands of various terror and radical groups like ISIS, AQIM, the Muslim Brotherhood, and others, which easily gained control over oil fields and drowned the country in blood and violence.

Only in 2014, when Operation Dignity, led by the Libyan National Army (LNA)'s Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, started, was the real battle against terrorism begun.  Haftar gathered his brothers in arms and their fellow tribesmen, uniting them for one goal: to defeat terrorism.

Recently, the LNA has been successful in fighting the jihadists.  In March 2017, the army liberated the strategically important Mediterranean town of Ras Lanuf and the port of Al-Sidr, the largest hubs of the Libyan oil export business.  In July, the Haftar-led troops succeeded in securing the country's second major city: Benghazi.

It is worth saying that the fight against terrorism initiated by the Libyan field marshal is an important milestone for a political settlement as well.  This is also clear to the Libyan prime minister, Fayez Sarraj, who has failed to stabilize the situation while in office.

Sarraj is not popular in Libya anymore.  The decline of his approval ratings was caused by his inability to control the radical groups he collaborates with.  Realizing the importance of increasing his popularity for the future of his political career, the prime minister of the Government of National Accord (GNA) decided to cooperate with Haftar.  On July 25, the sides agreed upon a ceasefire and general elections in 2018.  However, for the LNA commander, this step is about speeding up the battle against terrorists, while the acting prime minister is interested only in retaining his political position.  A perfect example of this is the Sabratha battle.  When the forces loyal to Sarraj and GNA captured the town with the assistance of Haftar's troops, they proudly announced that Sabratha had been liberated, taking all the credit.

Recent events show that Haftar has become a national leader capable of uniting the Libyan people in the fight against terrorism.  Today, more than half of the country's territory is under LNA control.  Obviously, it is Field Marshal Haftar who can put an end to terrorism in Libya, starting its revival as a single state.