USA may get something worse than Iraq and Afghanistan in Libya


The situation in Libya may lead to further escalation of violence. The country lives under dual power: the proponents of the "Muslim way" support recently appointed Prime Minister Ahmed Miitig, whereas the fighters of Gaddafi's former supporter, Khalifa Haftar, pronounced the government illegitimate and declared war on Islamists - by whom they mean either armed militants, or the supporters of the prime minister.

The presence of uncontrolled armed groups aggravates the situation in the country even further. The United States, as usual, expressed concerns about what is happening in the country and recommended tourists to leave Libya immediately. According to yet unconfirmed reports, the States sent a warship to the region. However, the leader of one of the Libyan armed groups warned the U.S. authorities not to interfere, or they would have to deal with something even "worse than Iraq."

According to ITAR-TASS that refers to the Pentagon, the United States sent the Bataan amphibious ship with thousands of marines on board to the Mediterranean. According to sources, the American ship had already left the waters of the Red Sea and entered the Mediterranean waters through the Suez Canal. Yet, the website of the US Defense Department contains no information on the subject.

Unrest in Libya continues for three years after the overthrow of the country's ex-leader Muammar Gaddafi. The authorities of the country still can not disarm combat units. Some of them agreed to go under the control of the authorities, but there are still many paramilitary groups that only subordinate to their own field commanders.

Last week, the situation in Libya deteriorated sharply after soldiers of the National Army of rebellious General Khalifa Haftar (former Gaddafi supporter) attacked radical Islamists in Benghazi, who allegedly supported Prime Minister Ahmed Miitig. The Libyan authorities called it a coup attempt.

Previously, due to the tense situation in the country, the US redeployed nearly 250 marines from their base in Spain to Sicily. According to Americans, the military personnel could be used to ensure the safety of the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli. The U.S. Consulate Office in Libya remained only in one city after American ambassador to Benghazi was killed in an attack.

Meanwhile, the leader of one of the existing armed groups in Libya warned the U.S. not to intervene in the situation. Mohammed Zahavi, the head of the movement Ansar al-Sharia, which Washington recognized as a terrorist organization, accused the U.S. of supporting General Haftorah and said that the U.S. would have to deal with terrible consequences - "worse than in Iraq and Afghanistan," should the country decide to interfere. Noteworthy, Ansar al-Sharia is suspected of the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi.

The notorious US-led military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan continue to raise indignation with both the international community and the population of America. In Iraq, more than 4,000 U.S. soldiers were killed and about 32,000 were injured. The war in Afghanistan is the longest war in U.S. history: it continues since 1978. The losses of the U.S. Army in this war amount to more than 2,000 people.

Meanwhile, the U.S. State Department distributed a notice recommending U.S. citizens to refrain from traveling to Libya. The US tourists staying in Libya should immediately leave the country, the notice says.

The Russian Foreign Ministry recommended Russian citizens not to visit Libya in the autumn of 2013.

Currently, the Libyan government is chaired by businessman from Misrata, a supporter  of the "Muslim way" of development, Ahmed Miitig. His government was approved by 83 of 93 deputies of the General National Congress (Parliament) of Libya. Miitig could not collect the quorum of 120 votes, but was still appointed for the position by speaker Nuri Abu Sahmain.

Khalifa Haftar refused to recognize the authorities of the country. He also urged to postpone the parliamentary elections scheduled for June 25. However, he did not rule out a possibility of a "dialogue" with the new head of the Cabinet. In turn, the government of Libya accused Haftar, who started a military operation in Benghazi, of an attempted to conduct a coup. Experts say that there are two powers in Libya - of Miitig and Haftorah.

Unidentified men have recently attacked the house of Ahmed Miitig, using missiles and small arms. At the time of the attack, the prime minister and his family were at home, but did not suffer. The prime minister's security fired back, wounding and arresting two of the attackers.

Riots started in Libya in early 2011 and later evolved into a civil war. The protesters called for the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi, who had been in power since 1969. The rebels, supported by NATO aviation and special forces of several countries of the West and the Gulf (Qatar, Saudi Arabia) managed to seize power. Gaddafi was brutally murdered, his family fled from Libya. The war was announced finished in the autumn of 2011, but military actions still continue in the country against the backdrop of the political crisis.


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Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov