Libyan general from rival government accuses US, Europe of ‘backing terror’
Marshal Khalifa Haftar (C), the military leader of the Libyan National Army and Libya’s parallel parliament based in the eastern city of Tobruk returns from a visit to Russia on December 3, 2016. (AFP/Abdullah Doma)
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Libyan General Khalifa Haftar has accused several European countries and the United States of supporting terrorist groups in Libya by secretly providing them weapons and training.
In an interview aired on the Egyptian ON LIVE radio channel on Saturday, Haftar described France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy, and the United States as “partners” to the "terrorists" in Libya.
He said those countries had to reconsider their positions.
The Libyan general also said Turkey used to back extremists but “we sent back in coffins the terrorists that Turkey had dispatched” to Libya.
Turkey will pay dearly for the harm it did to the Libyan nation, he said, without elaborating further.
Haftar was an ally of Libya’s long-time dictator Muammar Gaddafi but joined the Libyan revolution against Gaddafi in 2011.
Libya has been dominated by violence since a NATO military intervention that followed the 2011 uprising and that led to the overthrow and death of Gaddafi. Rival governments were set up in Tripoli and eastern Libya back in 2014.
General Haftar is linked to the government based in the east, in the port city of Tobruk, and has refused to profess allegiance to the United Nations (UN)-recognized government in Tripoli. His forces have been fighting militias loyal to the Tripoli government since 2014.