Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
June 08, 2020

Russia Attempts To Freeze The Conflict In Libya

The war in Libya has become a proxy conflict between many international players.

The Government of National Accord (GNA) under Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj is supported by the Muslim Brotherhood. Its main political and financial sponsor is Qatar and its main military ally is Turkey. Italy is also supporting Sarraj. The GNA controls the capital Tripoli and Misrata in the west of the country.

On the other side is the (former?) CIA asset Khalifa Haftar with his Libyan National Army. He controls Libya's east and most of its oil resources. He is supported by the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Greece and France.

Russia sees its involvement in the conflict as an adjudicator. It wants to reestablish its long term business interests in Libya which had fallen to the wayside after the war the U.S., UK and France waged against country in 2011. It has sold weapons to Hafter through the UAE and has allowed Russian mercenaries to take part in the war on the side of Haftar's LNA.

Since April 2019 Haftar attempted to take Tripoli and to evict the GNA. The fight was more difficult and went on much longer than he had hoped for. The economic situation of both sides is interwoven and makes the war complicated. In January Russia called on Hafter to stop it. It held a peace conference in Moscow and urged him to sign a ceasefire agreement:

After hours of negotiations brokered by Russia and Turkey, Haftar on Monday evening asked until Tuesday morning to look over the agreement already signed by Fayez al-Sarraj, the head of the United Nations-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA).

But Haftar, whose eastern-based forces launched an offensive to seize the GNA's base of Tripoli in April, left Moscow without signing the deal drafted at the indirect talks, Russia's foreign ministry was quoted as saying by TASS news agency on Tuesday.

The snub towards Russia was not forgotten.

Before the meeting in Moscow Turkey had promised military support to the GNA. In exchange the GNA had signed an agreement with Turkey that supposedly demarcates a sea border between Turkey and Libya. That agreed border ignores the rights of Greece and Cyprus and will never be internationally recognized. But Turkey uses the agreement to claim extensive rights in the eastern Mediterranean sea.

A week after the failed talks in Moscow another attempt for ceasefire negotiations, this one in Berlin, also failed. Germany again tried to talk sense into Hafter during a visit in March but without results.

Meanwhile the conflict escalated with Turkish supplies of drones and artillery and with 13,000 'Syrian rebels' hired by Turkey as mercenaries to strengthen the GNA. The Turkish operation is financed by Qatar which recently also intervened to stop the drop of the Turkish Lira. The UAE countered that Turkish buildup with more supplies of Russian made Pantsyr air defense systems to the LNA and more mercenaries hired from Russia and Sudan. Confronted with the Pantsyr's Turkish drones dropped by the dozens and the front lines hardly moved.

On May 17 the picture changed. Turkish drones were suddenly able to hit the Pantsyrs and within a day destroyed at least six of them. At the same time the Russian mercenaries received orders to pull back from the frontline. Left without protection from air defenses Haftar's forces mostly fled and the GNA pushed forward. The maps show the recent changes.

May 8, 2020

June 8, 2020


There have been no leaks of what has happened behind the scene. It is possible that Turkey was able to electronically jam the radar of the Pantsyrs so that its drones could take them out. But if it had that capability why did it not use it earlier?

Others believe that Russia had had enough of Haftar's escapades and thought it necessary to punish him for his naughtiness.

But Russia did not completely drop him. Shortly after the Pantsyr massacre Russian fighter planes were ferried from Russia to Libya and set up at the Al-Jufra air base which is under LNA control. They will allow Russia to keep a balance between the feuding sides.

So far that plan worked well. On Saturday Egypt announced a new ceasefire in Libya starting today and Haftar has finally agreed to it:

The conference in Cairo was attended by Hifter and Aguila Saleh, speaker of the Tobruk-based House of Representatives. Several foreign diplomats, including U.S., Russian, French and Italian envoys attended. Hifter and Saleh are allies.

There were no representatives of the Tripoli-based administration, or of its main backers, Turkey and Qatar, at the conference.

On Friday the GNA took Tarhuna, a city 40 miles southeast of Tripoli. The 'Syrian rebels' immediately started to loot the city. The move finally ends the siege of Tripoli Hafter had held for 15 months.

Russia allegedly told the GNA to not move further to the east and to stick to the ceasefire Haftar agreed to. It wants Haftar to stay in control of the east. Russia drew a line on Sirte, a city that covers the eastern oil fields that will also create profit for Moscow. The Al-Jufra Air Base, 150 miles south of Sirte, is also supposed to stay under Haftar's control. The country would thereby be partitioned in two halves.

But after the May 17 breakthrough the GNA and its sponsors were feeling empowered and were themselves getting naughty ideas. Turkey suddenly changed its war aims:

In light of the most recent developments, Turkey identified a new objective in Libya. Ankara no longer seeks to force Haftar to participate in diplomatic negotiations. Instead, the new mission is to put this source of instability, this murderer of Tripoli’s civilian population, out of business.

The GNA government conditioned its acceptance of the ceasefire:

Tripoli-based Interior Minister Fathi Bashagha said the government side would engage in political talks only after taking Sirte and also the inland Jufra air base, to the south. The U.S. last month accused Russia of deploying at least 14 aircraft at the base to support Russian mercenaries backing Hifter, a claim dismissed by Moscow.

Taking Sirte would open the gate for the Tripoli-allied militias to press even farther eastward, to potentially seize control of vital oil installations, terminals and oil fields that tribes allied with Hifter shut down earlier this year, cutting off Libya’s major source of income.

Since Friday 'Syrian rebels' under Turkish command are trying to take the LNA held Sirte. But suddenly the airplanes recently delivered by Russia sprang into action. Several GNA convoys which were moving towards Sirte got smashed. Turkish drones are again dropping from the sky.

Egypt has started to position heavy military equipment on its western border. It does not want a Muslim Brotherhood controlled Libya as its neighbor. The buffer Haftar's LNA provides is a priority for its own security. Egypt together with France, Greece, Cyprus and the UAE also rejected the Turkish aspirations in the eastern Mediterranean.

If Russia would pull back its support and completely give up on Haftar Egypt would see a necessity to intervene in Libya. A Turkish-Egyptian war on Libyan grounds would then become likely.

The U.S. has mostly stayed out of the current game. But while it earlier seemed to lean towards Haftar it recently voiced concern about the Russian role in Libya and made some positive noises towards the GNA.

Europe is split on the issue with France and Greece on the LNA's side while Italy leans towards the GNA. This makes it impossible for the EU to play a bigger role.

Russia is trying to achieve in Libya the same situation that it achieved in Syria (and Ukraine). It wants to freeze the active conflict by pressing both parties to stick to a line and by intervening only when that line is crossed by either side. It will continue to push for negotiations between the two conflict parties and their sponsors.

Posted by b on June 8, 2020 at 17:45 UTC | Permalink


A frozen conflict is probably the most positive potential outcome in the near term. If Russia's actions and aims are as described, they seem the best course considering the potential options.

Posted by: worldblee | Jun 8 2020 18:26 utc | 1

Let's get on the Time Machine. Remember this?

Beaten To A Bloody Pulp And Sodomized

Libya, don't you know, is what is referred to by Hillary in the following clip as Smart Power. If that's Smart Power, I don't think I want to know what Dumb Power is or worse, Genius Power.

Secretary Clinton Receives the Distinguished Diplomat Award from the Virginia Military Institute

Hillary: Virginia Military Institute, George C. Marshall's school, through Pat Lang, would like to give you the Distinguished Diplomat Award. See Pat's note below. Though you must receive endless invitations, I think this one would be a particularly good venue for you for a host of obvious reasons, and where you could deliver a speech. You will have various speeches to give. You can give one at VMI and get honored. You can respond through me or to Pat directly one way or another. Also, I had a long conversation with Pat, who has many sources within the higher echelons of the military, and he describes what the generals are doing on Afghanistan deployment as a "slow motion mutiny." He believes the White House trying to counter it through press leaks as though this is a primary campaign generates contempt. Cheers, Sid

And now Lang, no doubt, is providing "invaluable" advice to Trump and the cabal using Trump as a foil.

Posted by: | Jun 8 2020 19:04 utc | 2

Confronted with the Pantsyr's Turkish drones dropped by the dozens and the front lines hardly moved.


Others believe that Russia had had enough of Haftar's escapades and thought it necessary to punish him for his naughtiness.


But suddenly the airplanes recently delivered by Russia sprang into action. Several GNA convoys which were moving towards Sirte got smashed.


Since Friday [...] Turkish drones are again dropping from the sky.

God, the world is so nice to you when you inherit the technology of a world superpower!

I would sell my soul to have the opportunity to rebuild over a former superpower. It's like to be born in the third base for the Third World countries.

Posted by: vk | Jun 8 2020 19:07 utc | 3

Thanks b for clearing that up. I have found this conflict to be one of the hardest to wrap my head around to understand what is really going on.

Posted by: BraveNewWorld | Jun 8 2020 19:25 utc | 4

A little over a year after this article, he was brutally assassinated at the behest of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton under the aegis of Smart Power. In fact, they delighted in it. They frolicked in the bloody autumn (it was October afterall) mist in a land called Tripoli.

Libya's Qaddafi Taps 'Fossil Water' To Irrigate Desert Farms

What's up with that ocean of fossil water under Libya's sands today?

In Battle For Libya's Oil, Water Becomes A Casualty

It appears keeping that fossil water deep in the ground as a reserve for the future is part of the goal of failing Libya as a nation state.

Fresh water will be more valuable than precious gems in the not-too-distant future. That fossil fuel is worth trillions if not more in future dollars.

Posted by: | Jun 8 2020 19:31 utc | 5

The Syrian mercenaries sent by Turkey are Syrian Turkmens, more or less proved at the time. If that's the case, it was an employment opportunity for those whom the Turks prefer, the Turkmens lacking employment like most rebel Syrians.

Posted by: Laguerre | Jun 8 2020 19:48 utc | 6

fascinating overview b.. thank you...

a user and s were having this conversation yesterday, so thanks for giving it more details.. it seems to me more bullshit from turkey under erdogan... when does usa get involved, and how to they play erdogan for the idiot he is?? only a matter of time, although they will also have to convince france to come on board... jesus it must be hell for the libyan people who went from a functioning country under gaddafi to this outrage and murder from the west... one big game of chess or checkers as the case may be...

Posted by: james | Jun 8 2020 19:53 utc | 7

I'm not sure I entirely agree with b's explanation. The Russians are not going to drop Haftar, just because they're annoyed with him. If they did so, that would put doubt on their other policies in the ME, like Syria. More like a lightening of support, until things improve.

I would think that Haftar's failure to take Tripoli has more to do with the degree of support for the Tripoli government in the region. Haftar was at the limit of his advance, and he doesn't seem to have brought over the local Tripolitans to support him. If he had succeeded in that, he would be in Tripoli today.

Posted by: Laguerre | Jun 8 2020 20:03 utc | 8

Is the Russian govt really supporting Khalifa Haftar's forces to the extent that it supports the Syrian govt in its war against the US? Or are the actions that B describes in his post the actions of the Wagner company, a private security company? Wagner no more represents Moscow than, say, Boeing represents the US in foreign policy. How can B be confident in predicting that what Russia "wants" in Libya is the same as what it "wants" in Syria and Ukraine?

Russia's goals in those other two countries are very different. Previously in Syria, Moscow was concerned that many if not most jihadis fighting there were from the Russian Federation. Most of those Russia-origin jihadis are now dead and the concern about the jihadis and where they come from is now China's. As for Ukraine, that country seems not to matter much at all to Moscow and will matter even less to Moscow and Germany once Nordstream II is in operation. The only areas of concern surely are the Baltic nations and Pol and Poland due to NATO build-up of bases and forces in these countries because they need the money that soldiers spend.

Posted by: Jen | Jun 8 2020 20:33 utc | 9

The interesting question is why the Tripolitans didn't go over to Haftar. They obviously didn't, as Haftar's forces have been forced back to Tarhuna and beyond. Is it merely a regional difference between Tripolitania and Cyreniaca? Is it that Haftar is too violent? I hope it isn't that the Tripolitans put trust in the Western Powers - as that is the easy way to being betrayed.

Posted by: Laguerre | Jun 8 2020 20:38 utc | 10

Russia has big issues at home and especially Putin. Read following article and you will see that Putin is fighting for power with globalist at home( I think Russia does not have the political stability nor the money to get involved in Libya. Syria is already eating up Russia's budget. Falling oil prices don't help either. Don't forget that Russia is economically a midget and can not afford too many adventures outside its borders. On contrary Turkey seems to work well with Trump administration and backed by Qatar money. I can see that Turkey will get what it wants in the Med Sea and EU can do nothing especially Greece, the poor man of Europe. Seems like Turkey is more determined than ever and to make it's point and as a message to the Greeks, Turkey will soon re-open Hagia Sophia Church in Istanbul as a mosque again after over 70 years. This may though antagonize both the orthodox Greeks and the Russians.

Posted by: Matthiew | Jun 8 2020 20:38 utc | 11

I don't know how, but I think this is a very strategic move by Russia.

Trade. World trade is about to change when US Dollar loses its reserve status.

And Russia is prepared.

Posted by: Randa | Jun 8 2020 20:53 utc | 12

This situation would be a lot simpler and easier to understand if the fake GNA wasn't being described as the UN-backed GNA. I'd like to know which UN members are being bribed by AmeriKKKa and its owners to inflict an anti-communist, fake Neoliberal democracy upon Libya? The world will never be safe until the greedy Christian Colonial Cranks stop funding Crusades against socialist (not for profit) governments.
For how long have Christian Colonial Totalitarian Capitalist Crank governments been sanctioning Cuba and North Korea? When will they finally be crucified (R2Ped) for their sinful scams against "their own people" by their own people?

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jun 8 2020 20:54 utc | 13

It seems that the situation is heating-up again in Iraq, a C130 seems to be shut-down in the Taji airport with unknown number of victims.
I think that we will see many more attacks approaching the US elections, Iran will not permit Trump wins the re-election easily after he killed Suleimani. More pressure to the US regime now with an internal insurgency

Posted by: DFC | Jun 8 2020 20:59 utc | 14

Is it that Haftar is too violent? I hope it isn't that the Tripolitans put trust in the Western Powers - as that is the easy way to being betrayed.

Posted by: Laguerre | Jun 8 2020 20:38 utc | 10

I think Haftar is an erratic character, he has very hard time building loyalty and recruiting fighters. On the other hand, GNA has a very hard time with making a unified command. Conquering territory in suburbs is a very bloody enterprise, so you need fighters with some dedication, something that Haftar did not have. A general observation/conjecture that I have is that Libyans are much to reasonable to be dedicated fighters, offering their lives for "the cause" (what cause?).

Once the front length got several times shorter, and front lines going through deserts rather than suburbs, Haftar has enough manpower to keep it with some support from the air. But to advance through urban territory, you need either manpower, or you flatten the city.

Observe that in Syria, Russia supports conserving manpower and as short front lines as currently possible, and the most recent campaign resulted in moderate losses among government troops with very decent gains of valuable territory -- complete metropolitan Aleppo with an additional safe zone and reasonably secure highway/railway connection to the rest of Syria. Once achieved, time for consolidation and preparing for "another time", perhaps next year. Putin practices "limited war", a careful calculation of costs and gains.

In Libya, Russia seems to break even or perhaps much better -- naughty of them? Putin is a great believer in balanced budget etc., currently Russia faces the virus and low oil prices, so various projects are carefully reviewed. Qatar and UAE do not have bottomless pockets either. But Haftar side has the bulk of oil and territory, so it has more promising future -- perhaps without Haftar.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jun 8 2020 21:01 utc | 15

Since Friday [...] Turkish drones are again dropping from the sky.
God, the world is so nice to you when you inherit the technology of a world superpower!

Posted by: vk | Jun 8 2020 19:07 utc | 3

Actually, drone warfare postdates the fall of Soviet Union, and Russia still has trouble in this aspect. The defense works, but the success is not even, and on the attack side, I never read about Russian attack drones. Because the defense is static, you must have a sufficient number of batteries and radars compared to the length of the front.

Strategically, Benghazi/Tobruk side lets Tripolitanians enjoy giving hospitality to notoriously unruly mercenaries, so in a year sentiments can change.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jun 8 2020 21:16 utc | 16

Today Pompeo announced the start of a full embargo to all the oil shipping lines of Iran, that is the equivalent of what the US did to Japan in 1941 some months before Pearl Harbor attack, it is, in fact a war declaration because the aim is to fully starve Iran after killing their beloved Suleimani:

And then Iran responded (it is arab, use google translate):

If confirmed it could develope quickly in a big nasty war

Posted by: DFC | Jun 8 2020 21:20 utc | 17

It seems that the situation is heating-up again in Iraq, a C130 seems to be shut-down in the Taji airport with unknown number of victims.

Posted by: DFC | Jun 8 2020 20:59 utc | 14

That sort of event has nothing to do with Iranian policy, as suggested by the US, but rather with the Iraqi popular revolt against US occupation. The US won't admit that it's again appointed a puppet, and that popular feeling is against the US imposition.

Posted by: Laguerre | Jun 8 2020 21:25 utc | 18

@Laguerre | Jun 8 2020 21:25 utc | 18

Of course Iran will negate he had participated in the job, but on the other hand the US regime has to know who is really targeting his troops because the aim of Iran is clear, the end of the US presence in the ME, and now is more urgent that never, cause the US has just declared a full economic blockade to Iran, and this need an strong answer.

On the other hand may be Trump is calculating a move to increase the price of the oil and save the frackers, and to become a "war president" with the country closing the ranks behind him; may be he needs to "sell" a new Pearl Harbor to the american public after the Covid-19 disaster.

Posted by: DFC | Jun 8 2020 21:35 utc | 19

Posted by: DFC | Jun 8 2020 21:20 utc | 17

US cr*p about as believable as any other. Trump makes war on the entire world, that's the truth.

Posted by: Laguerre | Jun 8 2020 21:35 utc | 20


"The U.S. has mostly staid out of the current game."

psst: "staid" is only an adjective in English. "Stayed" is the past tense of the verb "to stay". There's a secondary meaning as a noun for "stay", as in the "mast's stays...".

But of course, your meaning is clear.

Posted by: Jay | Jun 8 2020 21:37 utc | 21

because the aim of Iran is clear

Posted by: DFC | Jun 8 2020 21:35 utc | 19

The rubbish of your post is evident in that simple phrase. Iran has no such aim. Iranian objectives are entirely defensive.

Posted by: Laguerre | Jun 8 2020 21:40 utc | 22


Great post. Have to second your comments in that the wars of the future, which has already put in motion, is to control the water supply, not oil, gold, etc.

The article below is a great addition to your post.

Posted by: Alpi | Jun 8 2020 21:49 utc | 23

@Laguerre | Jun 8 2020 21:40 utc | 22

You do not understand anything

Of course the Iranian policy is defensive, but you have to defend yourself fighting the bully that is hurting you and is threatening you at the door of your house after killing your friends.

But the end it seems that the plane crash it is an accident, not a shut-down, we will see...

Posted by: DFC | Jun 8 2020 21:50 utc | 24

You do not understand anything

Posted by: DFC | Jun 8 2020 21:50 utc | 24

Oh really?

Yes I'd appreciated that the US declared the crash an accident. It's standard US policy, wh

Posted by: Laguerre | Jun 8 2020 21:57 utc | 25

Posted by: | Jun 8 2020 19:04 utc | 2

I recall that the award from VMI was given in early 2010, when Hillary was still in the business of presenting little red "RESET" buttons to Putin. You know, before she informed the world "I came, I saw, he died. Ha, Ha, Ha!".

Pat Lang's website is always interesting and informative.

Posted by: crocodile | Jun 8 2020 21:58 utc | 26

@23 Alpi

Thanks for that link. It validates my suspicions about the true purpose of failing Libya. Or one of the main reasons. Of course, Hillary and Obama and NATO claimed it was for humanitarian purposes. Bullshit. Unless modern day slave trading is considered humanitarian and torturing and executions too. These malevolent creatures have no shame. They're Shameless.

Executions, Torture And Slave Markets Persist In Libya: U.N.

The European Union said that migrants and activists were subjected to “unlawful detentions, abductions, torture, forced labor and sexual and gender-based violence”.

“We are deeply also concerned about reports of migrants and refugees allegedly being sold as slaves and call on the Libyan authorities to investigate and hold persons responsible for those acts accountable,” said EU diplomat Carl Hallergard.

Hanan Salah, Libya researcher for Human Rights Watch, denounced “raging impunity”, adding: “A political settlement and any semblance of rule of law seem elusive.”

Nice to see the European Union is so concerned. If only it had been so concerned when NATO decided to fail the Libyan state. They're a day late and a dollar short.

Posted by: | Jun 8 2020 22:45 utc | 27

From these TRT World reports (links here and here), I see that Khalifa Haftar does obtain support from Wagner Group, a private security company based in Russia.

That the Wagner Group sends mercenaries to fight on Haftar's side, and that the equipment the company sends him seems to be from Russian armed forces (the reports do not say if the equipment carries Russian military insignia or the Wagner Group's own markings), are not in themselves evidence of Russian government support for him.

These TRT World reports I linked to have to be read carefully, that is, one must read between the lines. They source their information from media outlets hostile to Moscow. Where are the indications that Moscow has pledged to support either Tripoli in western Libya or Benghazi in eastern Libya in the way it supports the Syrian government? I would like to see some indication that the Russian government indeed supports Haftar in a way similar to how it supports the Syrian government.

It does not seem like Russia to support Haftar clandestinely through a private mercenary company on the one hand and on the other to support Syria in the way it currently does. I should think that much if not all of this supposed "Russian military activity" in Libya is really the work of Wagner Group.

Posted by: Jen | Jun 8 2020 23:26 utc | 28

Posted by: DFC | Jun 8 2020 21:20 utc | 17 Today Pompeo announced the start of a full embargo to all the oil shipping lines of Iran

I have been expecting the US to attempt a *physical* blockade of Iranian shipping, because the sanctions Pompeo is trumpeting simply don't work - as witness the Iranian oil shipments to Venezuela, which must have enraged Israel and the neocons.

That's when a war would start, as Iran would have no recourse but to shut down the Straits to all shipping.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jun 8 2020 23:54 utc | 29

@26 crocodile

I recall that the award from VMI was given in early 2010, when Hillary was still in the business of presenting little red "RESET" buttons to Putin.

Sid and Pat proposed, in emails and phone calls per Wikileaks, offering the award to Hillary as early as 2010 but it appears she didn't actually receive the award until 2012, a year subsequent to Gaddafi's brutal assassination at the behest of Clinton & Obama. What's hilarious is, Lang wanted Blumenthal to make sure Hillary agreed to receive the award, I guess because he didn't want to lose face if she declined. Sid sold her on it although from the emails it doesn't look like he had to sell her. She was eager to accept it.

The following article from The Roanoke Times is dated April of 2012.

Clinton Receives Award At VMI, Speaks About U.S. Diplomacy

It should be noted, Lang didn't attend this event even though he arranged it and helped plan it. If not for Lang, she wouldn't have been awarded for the fine job she did in Libya, because that's what this award is tantamount to, in effect. Also, Hillary doles out a lot of thanks and recognitions during her speech but she never mentions or thanks Lang. I wonder why?

Posted by: | Jun 9 2020 0:02 utc | 30

@ jen... thanks for your posts.. who do you think is paying for them??

Posted by: james | Jun 9 2020 0:37 utc | 31

Libya has some of the best (if not the best) oil on the planet.
The best of the sweet crude.

Posted by: Duncan Idaho | Jun 9 2020 0:54 utc | 32

@28 Jen

I think b's language is correct when he says that Russia allows Wagner to operate in Libya. That's the precisely accurate dynamic.

As to Wagner shaping the battlefield, we have to explain the Pantsyr/Drone pantomime. This is far beyond anyone's capabilities other than Russia herself, to turn off and then back on the Pantsyr ability to take down Turkish attack drones. And certainly it is only Russia who can send Russian fighter planes to a Russian base in Libya, and then to deploy them against GNA convoys in that battlefield.

Russia has shown its footprint and its desires with almost breathtaking candor (for Russia). Nothing could be more clear as to its preferred lines in that theater at present. The players in the theater seem quite dense (dense enough to suggest a whiff of US thinking somewhere in the mix), but surely now even they must understand, from such a choreographed comedy.

And many thanks to b for describing it so well.


As to the future lines of the theater, Russia has demonstrated a fondness for frozen conflicts in several zones, but this should not be mistaken for Russian acceptance of any lines as permanent. Ukraine, for example, is not a situation that Russia no longer cares about - on the contrary it is a living thorn in the heart of Russia to watch the destruction of a brotherly people.

But Russia looks to stable objectives always, and, as seems shown by many recent examples, actively employs methods of stability to achieve those objectives. The Kremlin is ever attuned to the present "correlation of forces" in any theater, what we would call the balance of power.

Haftar could not take Tripoli and provide the stability of a monolithic nation. The push was worth the support, but it did not succeed. And obviously the Kremlin calculates that this cannot be done currently with the forces to hand. So then, stability must be found where it accords with the present correlation of forces.

But only until...

Until the next thing changes enough to change that correlation sufficient to game another objective. Russia advances winning move by winning move. To hold the line and prosper through another day, while the opponents gain no ground and perhaps even weaken, is a completely winning move. We have only to look at Syria to admire how Russia has advanced by continually stopping.

Something external to Libya could change Russia's resolve. Something internal could shift to change the odds.

Everything b has described in this sitrep strikes a chord with me as completely consonant with Russian behavior and Russian warfighting. So I offer those two cents for your consideration.

Posted by: Grieved | Jun 9 2020 0:56 utc | 33

BraveNewWorld | Jun 8 2020 19:25 utc | 4:

I see the current Libyan conflict more about Turkey making moves to reestablish their dominance in the MENA region (i.e. a neo-Ottoman caliphate). What makes this conflict confusing is the number of players jumping into the fray to achieve their agenda. Russia's involvement is more about pressuring Turkey while at the same time placating the Arabs. The goal is to get both the Turks and Arabs to move away from the West.

Jen | Jun 8 2020 20:33 utc | 9:

A couple of years ago, Voltairenet estimated 18K Uyghur's fighting in the Middle East. China has really dropped the ball on this. They're going to have a huge headache in the near future.

Posted by: Ian2 | Jun 9 2020 1:34 utc | 34

I'll keep this brief.
Haftar's the man.

Posted by: Australian lady | Jun 9 2020 1:53 utc | 36

Hmm, I reckon a lot of MoA posters should run away to the circus, get a job as a contortionist, judging by the overly complicated positions you twist yourselves into, trying to say Russia sending mercenaries, fighter planes, troop transports, guns, guns & ammo, doesn't mean Russia has taken sides in this conflict, that all it wants is peace, is just plain self deception.

Aside from the fact many of you correctly call out amerika & europe for the same foul behaviour when they pull that act in places they are sizing up for economic colonisation, arguing that since the Wagner group is a corporation their sending russian & syrian mercenaries (ex Syrian Arab Army outta Homs) doesn't indicate official Russian support for the LNA, has to be the most fatuous piece of nonsense I've heard all year.

I cannot think of a single nation which allows the recruitment of mercenaries to conflicts which the government doesn't support.
Even in the land of the f**ked over, home of the bereft, mercenary corporations are only allowed to recruit to sides supported by the amerikan government.
The same goes for Russia, if the russian government didn't want its vets fighting for Haftar it would stop the recuitment in a heartbeat and do what nation states do when a citizen fights for a side antithetical to Russian foreign policy. That is tell the blokes that if they do go, they will be stripped of citizenship & not permitted to return.

There are no 'good guys' in this fight, whichever side wins Libyans are going to get screwed over, just like the rest of Africa, in future all revenues realised from Libyan resources will be sucked out leaving Libyans impoverished poorly educated and deeply in debt. The ruins of their once great culture will be left to stand as a remonstrance to the citizens as they do in most colonised countries, a rebuke telling Libyans "That is what happens when you get upitty boy" .
There will be no way back, the GNA has already repealed the petroleum act which prevented any corporation whose annual budget exceeded the Libyan GDP from exploiting Libya's resources.
Certainly Haftar should he win, would not as he is already doing deals with 'big energy'.
More guns, more mercenaries means only one thing, more Libyan civilians getting slaughtered, for what the right to have their resources stolen?

Russia's act in this horror show is no better than any of the other players. Russian arms were used to slaughter the tribal people in the south after they had become so sick of Haftar's corrupt administration down there they banded together to chase them out. Haftar's LNA solution? send in provocateurs to crank up an ancient feud between Toubou & Tuareg nomads, the plan appears to be to divide the indigenous tribes so as to make them vulnerable to re-colonisation. As a supporter of the LNA, Russia is just as responsible for that cynical murder play as anyone.

Posted by: A User | Jun 9 2020 1:58 utc | 37

b I am confused.Is "Hifter" another spelling of "Haftar" or are they two different people.

Please clarify.

Posted by: Carlyle Moulton | Jun 9 2020 2:23 utc | 38

Some of those Pantsirs (three at least) were hit while being transported and weren't active.

The Wagner Group recruits heavily from the Baltic States, Ukraine, and the ex-USSR states on Russia's southern border...mostly not Russian citizens.

The nature of the relationship between the Russian Govenment and the Wagner group is murky, as some of the higher ups are oligarchs of the Atlantic Integration types, rivals of Putin's more than allies.

Posted by: Jason | Jun 9 2020 2:25 utc | 39

Pompeo is inciting war [re: DFC @17]

He is not saying the U.S. navy will seize Iranian merchant ships but he made all Iranian merchant shipping illegal and told other countries to seize their ships. This is barely short of a naval blockade.

A perfectly logical and reciprocal response by Iran would be to deny access to the Persian Gulf for any country that obeys the Fat King's impetuous command. FOX will be in heaven portraying this is Iranian aggression. These damned liars think they are great Christians when they are the most bloodthirsty, evil, liars that have ever crawled on the face of this earth.

So what's Iran to do? If they do nothing it invites more aggression and they starve. If they respond we and our vassal states accuse them of aggression. Perhaps the prudent thing to do would be to go about business as usual and selectively shut down access to the Persian Gulf for any country that follows Pompeo's edict. Easy for me to say but it is by design a Sophie's choice.

Posted by: Christian J Chuba | Jun 9 2020 3:04 utc | 40

Jason @ 39: Yes, that's long been my suspicion, that the Wagner Group is allied with groups and individuals whose agenda may be hostile to Moscow, and that is why I have commented @ 9 and @ 28 in the way I have so far.

Posted by: Jen | Jun 9 2020 3:23 utc | 41

Libya was on the 2001 Neocon hit list (destroy seven countries in five years) leaked by General Wesley Clark. And by destroy this does not mean change, but to fragment so it is no longer functional and unable to protest or challenge plans for Israeli expansion. Hillary Clinton was the chief proponent of destroying Libya, but it was Nobel peace prize winner Obama who green-lighted the destruction of Africa's most prosperous nation. Here is a short documentary with details:

The Destruction of Libya in 2011:

Posted by: Carlton Meyer | Jun 9 2020 3:34 utc | 42

Russia is trying to achieve in Libya the same situation that it achieved in Syria (and Ukraine). It wants to freeze the active conflict by pressing both parties to stick to a line and by intervening only when that line is crossed by either side. It will continue to push for negotiations between the two conflict parties and their sponsors.

Russia has made clear so many times that she seeks a resolution to the Libyan conflict, the last thing she wants is a freeze. Freezing a conflict is also contrary to Russia's longstanding policies. On the other hand Russia always plays the long game, step by step, and does not rush into short term gains.

On the contrary, the facts the author has laid out show very clearly - as Russia has herself long made clear - that Russia has been pressuring Haftar to agree to a ceasefire, and the games with the Pantsirs and drones were directed to that end. It seems to have worked, at least on the Haftar side, and the GNA side were already agreeing to a ceasefire until then.

The snub towards Russia was not forgotten.

Doesn't ring true to me. As the source was Al-Jazeera, I wouldn't take the alleged form at face value. Haftar is unlikely to behave in anything but a highly civil manner towards Russia, but may obviously have disagreements on goals and capabilities, and refuse to respond to pressure. Russia is not the USA, and does not function around childish revenge.

Posted by: BM | Jun 9 2020 6:02 utc | 43

Russia's main goal in Libya is not related to the defeats of Haftar (Vzglyad, June 5).

Posted by: S | Jun 9 2020 7:00 utc | 44

The article s has linked to says in the opening pars "How can Russia protect its interests in Libya if the balance of power there has decisively changed?
So there is an admission russia just like all the other imperialists is in Libya for russia, nothing to do with helping Libya.

Of course we shouldn't be surprised by this as back in 2011 when amerika france & england agitated at the security council for a no fly zone, which was all fukus needed to destroy Libya & slaughter Colenel Gadaffi plus all his family bar one son who the amerikans missed, Russia made no move to protect Libya as it could have done with a simple veto.
Russia went for two bob each way with a limp-wristed 'abstain', didn't wanna reveal its intentions by backing amerika's corrupt play, cause it didn't have to, the motion would pass unless russia used its veto.

Now russia is in Libya with the rest of the greedy carpetbaggers, showing itself to be no better than the fukus mob of arseholes.
I know I'm pissing into the wind here, wishful thinking prevents so many from realising this ain't the USSR, russia has become just another capitalist state stealing from a nation it helped get screwed over. I get it, things would be better if there was still a powerful state motivated by ideology rather than selfishness, but there isn't and accepting that reality is essential if people do want to resist total rule by elites.
As long as people imagine that there is a mr nice nation state, when there isn't, there will be no impetus among humans to force a change.

I saluted russia when it took up President Assad's request for help, but this Libya move is really beyond the pale and now I beginning to wonder if the Syria move is dodgy as well. Did russia cut a deal with turkey to sell out Syria in return for some Libyan pie?
I dunno, time will tell.

Posted by: A User | Jun 9 2020 8:34 utc | 45

I know I'm pissing into the wind here
Posted by: A User | Jun 9 2020 8:34 utc | 45

Too true. Do enjoy the splash-back in your face!

Posted by: BM | Jun 9 2020 8:59 utc | 46

Posted by: Carlton Meyer | Jun 9 2020 3:34 utc | 42

You got the point!The fragmentation of arab(and not arab) countries was intended(and is)to weaken zionist opposition and to create the base of greater israel.And all the events are quickly converging in these days.From Suleimani killing we have now the yanks pushing for a war with Iran(the only solid country left defending Palestine) and at the same time we have israel ready to expand borders in Palestine.No one will interfere in this planned events and the Syrian and Lybian theatres will go on slowly(all this on the skin of civilians of course) as they are functional to zionists.Fragmentation is all they want and is what they are having around them.

Posted by: LuBa | Jun 9 2020 9:14 utc | 47

#USA-#Russia Road Wars continue in #Syria !!!

Russian MP escaped from American ambush Hasaka CS

Posted by: Mao | Jun 9 2020 9:17 utc | 48

Pompeo's actions tell you about how insane the US has become, as if you needed further evidence.

Oh, the smoke cleared from US riots? Back to more war. Let's push NATO into the Arctic and blockade Iran and push against Russia in Tunisia. Oh, and there's a video of Pelosi saying the US will give support to Israel even the Capital is in ruins.

Defund the police? The world will never know peace until the US is defunded. Even then, Americans will die sick and starving in the streets while they threaten other nations.

As for Libya, I thought this was over, Haftar lost.

Posted by: Eighthman | Jun 9 2020 12:17 utc | 49

Hello Carlyle Moulton, Semitic languages like Arabic use abjad consonants rather than alphabet letters. حفتر is H-F-T-R, and would be pronounced Haftar in most dialects of Arabic that use only the vowels a i and u. The Classical and Standard Arabic name M-H-MM-D is transliterated "Muhammad" in most of the Arab world and in India and Bangala Desh, but can also be transliterated as Mohammad (in Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan), Muhammed or Muhamed (in Bosnia and Herzegovina), Muhammed, Muhamed, Muhammet, or Muhamet (in Turkey and Albania). In Libya I guess the name would be Haftar in Eastern Libya and Hifter in the Western Libya capital city of Tripoli dialect, and note that so many Turks and Turkmen fighters are in Tripoli now. So basically Haftar's allies call him Haftar, and his enemies call him Hifter. But they all write it the same as حفتر = H-F-T-R.

Posted by: Ray Bergmann | Jun 9 2020 12:18 utc | 50

Hillary Clinton was the chief proponent of destroying Libya, but it was Nobel peace prize winner Obama who green-lighted the destruction of Africa's most prosperous nation.

The Ford Foundation is beaming with pride. Their ceremonial son, Barack Obama, destroyed racial unity and liberation in Libya and Africa in the name of racial liberation. It doesn't get any more Orwellian than that/this. Barack said, "there will be slavery in Africa again." And so there is, in his name and in the name of Hillary Clinton. What would Malcom X say? I know what he would say. He'd say, "Uncle Barack, you are a scumbag and a traitor. An imposter. A useful tool. A tragedy. Yet another one in a litany of them."

Here's Obama's reward. This is what racial liberation means in America and I would argue what it means on this planet.

Movin' On Up

Posted by: | Jun 9 2020 12:19 utc | 51

Posted by: A User | Jun 9 2020 8:34 utc | 45 So there is an admission russia just like all the other imperialists is in Libya for russia, nothing to do with helping Libya.

*No* country goes anywhere to "help" anyone. They do it for their own interests. That was true in Syria and it's true in Libya.

*How* those interests are served is a different matter. For Russia, b has clearly shown that they since they can't resolve the issue peacefully - because one or more of the parties won't negotiate - they would prefer to see neither party achieve a decisive victory.

"back in 2011 Russia made no move to protect Libya"

And that is precisely why when Obama *three times* tried to get the UNSC to pass a Resolution with Chapter 7 language in it on Syria that both Russia and China - having been burned by the US saying they just wanted a "no-fly zone", which then morphed into regime change - vetoed those Resolutions. Russia and China gave the US the benefit of the doubt - never again.

And when Obama tried *three more times* to get a war started in Syria - once in August, 2013, over the bogus chemical attacks, once in Fall, 2015 when he was talking about another bogus "no-fly zone" - which caused Russia to intervene directly - and once in 2016 when again Obama was going to decide on another bogus "no-fly zone" on a Friday when Russia announced on Tuesday or Wednesday that anyone who attacked the Syria military would be shot down, causing Obama to back down - one can hardly say that Russia was not defending Syria.

For its own interests, which have been pointed out repeatedly in discussion of that issue.

The same applies to Libya.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jun 9 2020 12:21 utc | 52

A bit off-topic, but here's more on the expansion of Federal police agencies in Washington, D.C., which is related to the B.O.P. cops that arrived during the protests.

The Story Behind Bill Barr’s Unmarked Federal Agents

With little public attention, notice and amid historically lax oversight, those ranks have surged since 9/11—growing by roughly 2,500 officers annually every year since 2000. To put it another way: Every year since the 2001 terrorist attacks, the federal government has added to its policing ranks a force larger than the entire Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Nearly all of these agencies are headquartered in and around the capital, making it easy for Attorney General William Barr to enlist them as part of his vast effort to “flood the zone” in D.C. this week with what amounts to a federal army of occupation, overseen from the FBI Washington area command post in Chinatown. Battalions of agents were mustered in the lobby of Customs and Border Protection’s D.C. headquarters—what in normal times is the path to a food court for federal workers. The Drug Enforcement Administration has been given special powers to enable it to surveil protesters. It is the heaviest show of force in the nation’s capital since the protests and riots of the Vietnam War.

As large as the public show of force on D.C.’s streets has turned out to be—Bloomberg reported Thursday that the force includes nearly 3,000 law enforcement—it still represents only a tiny sliver of the government’s armed agents and officers. The government counts up its law enforcement personnel only every eight years, and all told, at last count in 2016, the federal government employed over 132,000 civilian law enforcement officers—only about half of which come from the major “brand name” agencies like the FBI, ATF, Secret Service, DEA and CBP.

132,000 Federal cops! That's damn near an army. And I suspect, unlike the military where most of the "troops" are support and only a handful are actual "combat", these guys are all ready to hit the streets.

If one were paranoid, one would suspect there's a reason for the sudden and vast expanse of Federal cops - and it's not "terrorism".

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jun 9 2020 12:28 utc | 53

If Russia's motives are pure, a delusional notion, how can anyone expect it can continue to clean up America's and the West's foreign policy disasters (disasters at least per the official line of reasoning) without depleting its treasury entirely? This is not tenable for Russia or Turkey. It requires substantial resources. Resources that are diverted from the Russian people and Russian infrastructure and same goes for Turkey. It's a recipe for yet another Russian collapse and a Turkish collapse as well. When will Russia learn? When will Turkey learn? You don't take America's place on the petard by which America was hoisting itself. You let America hang itself rather than being its unwitting proxy in the noose. Failed states in the Middle East or Africa or anywhere for that matter are quagmires. It's hubris to believe you can control the chaos. The chaos, instead, controls you. You get sucked into the black hole of chaos and ultimately it's game over for you.

Posted by: | Jun 9 2020 12:28 utc | 54

@53 Richard Steven Hack

If one were paranoid, one would suspect there's a reason for the sudden and vast expanse of Federal cops - and it's not "terrorism".

Although "terrorism" may very well be, most likely will be, the cover and pretext. If you're not a member of the extractive wealthy elite, you're a terrorist.

What does the cabal using Trump as a foil have up its sleeve? Martial Law and an indefinite suspension of the election in November? If so, surely that would spark a true civil war, right? Would Mattis and the other generals sit back and watch a fascist coup take place? Even though a fascist coup has already effectively taken place? Maybe. Maybe not. We'll see. Either way, I don't see Fat Donny giving up the crown without pulling every dirty trick in the book. If only the Bavarian government would have reinstated Friedrich's citizenship, we would never have known the name Trump let alone a Donald Trump. He would have been Germany's problem. Now he's not only Germany's problem but everyone's problem.

Posted by: | Jun 9 2020 12:38 utc | 55

Um it wasnt Russia who took out Libyan government and incited the chaos that is that country now. It wasnt Russia who bombed cities and armed jihadis and took part in public rape and lynching of Ghadafi.

Actually Russia was fervently against it as they were in Syrian situation which almost plays exactly like Libya had Russia not stepped in. I remember Putins 06? UN speech where he told americans in their face "you think you are using these people (jihadis) but in reality they are using you"

There are no bad guys? Yes there are bad guys its the beheaders and jihadis. And the people that arm, finance and support them.

Posted by: Comandante | Jun 9 2020 12:46 utc | 56

@ Posted by: | Jun 9 2020 12:28 utc | 54

The post mentions Russia is only interfering with arms sales (pantsyr) and mercenaries. Both of them are revenues, not expenses.

The only expense mentioned is the planes, which are seemingly piloted by Russians.

I don't see Russia directly, except in the diplomatic sphere, involved in Libya.

Posted by: vk | Jun 9 2020 13:29 utc | 57

Haftar is a secularist and Russia fights against Muslim extremists/Salafists. Isn't that why Russia is there?

ISIS (CIA-KSA?) was making gains in Libya. Haftar reversed that. Then Turkey entered with their own Islamist extremists - mostly after USA allowed Turkey to take a big chunk of northern Syria.

If Erdogan works with the West, he risks revenue from TurkStream and USA wants him to stop importing Iranian oil. What should his compensation be for those concessions? Libyan oil?

<> <> <> <> <> <>

If both India and Turkey lean West, the tires are cut on the Chinese economy, and USA obtains overwhelming superiority in the 'high ground' of space, then is it 'game over' for the upstarts?


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jun 9 2020 13:33 utc | 58

Hafter/Hifter/Hefter is a CIA scumbag. He was living high off the American hog in the Virginia suburbs prior to putting his uniform back on and going back to butchering in Africa.

He resembles a Libyan version of Pat Lang, does he not?

Only SOLO For Hifter

@57, if that's the extent of Russia's involvement in Libya, then good on them for not entrenching. But don't think America doesn't intend for Russia to step in a quagmire anywhere it fails a nation-state and also, it's a bit hypocritical, to say the least, for Russia to profit off of the debauchery in Libya in any way, shape or form and still claim the high road.

US Intention In Syria Is A Quagmire For Russia: Cyprus, Turkey, and Islamists

James Jeffrey, the United States Special Representative for Syria, uttered, “This isn’t Afghanistan, this isn’t Vietnam… This isn’t a quagmire. My job is to make it a quagmire for the Russians.”

I guess such a strategy also falls under the rubric of Smart Power.

What's happening in Libya and Syria and Afghanistan, will become the paradigm across the planet in the next thirty years if humanity lasts that long. Previously first world countries will collapse into chaos and we will all become Libya and Libyans. So many Hifters are in the pipeline ready to get it on. They dream of the day and that day is near.

Posted by: | Jun 9 2020 14:15 utc | 59

“The war in Libya has become a proxy conflict between many international players.”
This pithy opening sentence encapsulates the dangerous complexity of international affairs, nations battling each other for influence and power in Africa and elsewhere, as they did in the 19th century leading up to world war one. Humanity is facing a similar – worse – outcome than it did a hundred years ago.

Posted by: peter mcloughlin | Jun 9 2020 14:16 utc | 60

Remember former Yuguslavia? They had Tito, a kind of slavic Charles DeGaulle that France once has had. He used to cast light or shadows over the whole Balcans and the neighborhood.
Well, a reverse sided Tito must be this narcisic Ottoman dreamer Erdogan.
No clear policies, no realpolitiks, no attainable projects. Thinks that with a spoon of machiavellism he can reinstate the ottoman Empire. And sets shaddows and chaos wherever he goes.
But he has two unique, almost unsurmountable advantages: the
Bosphorous and the NATO membership. Mainly the last one.
That s to say, as long as the US and the Europeans keep imagining that NATO still has a purpose, i.e. is a nice, necessary Entity... the Ankara Sultan will keep his place.

Posted by: Augusto | Jun 9 2020 15:17 utc | 61

@ Richard Steven Hack | Jun 9 2020 12:28 utc | 53

"132,000 Federal cops! That's damn near an army."

Put another way, that's thirteen divisions of front-line infantry.

Posted by: AntiSpin | Jun 9 2020 15:22 utc | 62

How and Why Black Lives Matter Harnessed a Nation's Anger Toward Donald Trump

"It's safe to say that Trump's election was, in no small part, fueled by a panicked reaction from right-wing America toward Black Lives Matter. To put it bluntly, Republican voters saw that BLM activists were successful at harnessing the power of democracy to push for greater racial equality and a fairer justice system. Given the stark choice between defending democracy or defending white supremacy, Republican voters went with the latter, in the form of the Great Orange Nemesis in the White House, who hasn't been exactly subtle about his fascist yearnings."

Posted by: AntiSpin | Jun 9 2020 15:56 utc | 63

What the Russian mercenaries are doing in Libya is illegal with regards to international law and is no different than the illegal US presence in Syria. While we are being mocked by statements like Putin saying in January that "if there are Russians fighting in Libya, then they do not represent the interests of the Russian state” or Viktor Bondarev saying a few days ago that "If the warplanes are in Libya, they are Soviet, not Russian", Russian PMCs had been seemingly having a field day, committing atrocious crimes in laughter that would even make ISIS jealous:

Posted by: Innocent Civilian | Jun 9 2020 16:28 utc | 64

@ Posted by: Innocent Civilian | Jun 9 2020 16:28 utc | 64

Nobody cares about international law. The gloves are already off, that ship has already sailed etc etc.

Besides, you could technically claim the Libyan State doesn't exist anymore (a la Somalia), after NATO pulverized Gaddafi's government in 2011.

Posted by: vk | Jun 9 2020 16:37 utc | 65

@ 63 antispin... that is not related to this topic... post that on the open thread instead...

@ a user... i agree with @ 52 rsh's comments to you.. "back in 2011 Russia made no move to protect Libya" - they weren't in the same position they are today...

@ jen and others on wagner group.... what are the chances this group is funded by the west and they are a bunch of ukee type fascists?? no one seems to know much about this group, but they are being sold as ''russian''....

some people are posting too much and don't have much of anything relevant to say...

Posted by: james | Jun 9 2020 17:03 utc | 66

not only they are in a different position, but they were hoodwinked on the no fly zone, which as richard notes - they didn't let that happen again...

@ jackrabbit.. thanks for your insights.. all relevant...

Posted by: james | Jun 9 2020 17:04 utc | 67

Carleton @ 42

That is a very good summary of the destruction and robbery of a country by the west.

Posted by: arby | Jun 9 2020 17:36 utc | 68

Libyan war is a war for resources and power by extension, in controling the said resources.
Libya has been a playground for the empires for millennia. From Persian, to Greek, to Roman and eventually settling as a part of Ottoman empire.
Libya used to a be what’s called 'Upper Middle Income Economy' , is now close to a failed-state.
Libya used to have some of the best social safety nets in the Maghreb, till Gaddafi somehow went off-script (had nothing to do with giving up nukes as some may contend, and stop it about the Lockerbie BS) and the empire struck hard, leading from bee-hind. We came, we saw, he died. Ha, ha, ha.

Somebody said here earlier that China’s going to have a big uighure problem. A lot of them are fighting in Libya.
I’d say: No they don’t. They got rid of all the jihadis, not to ever let them back. Problem solved. Problem had.

My guess is Libya will turn into fiefdoms, but not before some blood is to be spilled over who controls what. Also, the Jihadis from anywhere including Caucuses cannot return to whence they came, so will have to die on the shifting battlefield somewhere. Canon fodder for the empire.
The foot soldiers of the empire (the said uighures included) only carry water as they are told.

A message for those pushing international law: It died a while go. Wake up! It was trampled by the empire in renouncement of its obligations to treaties, accords, and agreements. It died with illegal wars.

Posted by: Sakineh Bagoom | Jun 9 2020 17:43 utc | 69

Searching this page up to comment Number 68:

Clinton 7
Henry Levy 0
Medvedev 0
Obama 11
We came 0
Russia 143

Strange, to say the least.

Posted by: Paco | Jun 9 2020 18:08 utc | 70


The Ford Foundation's great, isn't it?

How Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton Contributed to Libya's Slavery Crisis

Understandably, it is emotionally painful to witness so many African brothers and sisters being brutally beaten and sold into slavery within present-day Libya. This is yet another important moment for solidarity, Pan-Africanism, Internationalism and general Humanitarianism to be invoked to halt this brutality and saving countl lives. It is also important to note that this tragedy could have been avoided.

Many of the people who are crying out for the ending of slavery in Libya are the same people that supported the lethal Obama/Clinton tag-team that orchestrated the destruction of what was once the African nation with the highest living standards -- Libya! Many of these folks unconditionally supported BarackObama and Hillary Clinton despite their nefarious actions. Many even made excuses for the bombing of Libya knowing that if George W. Bush or Donald Trump were doing the same, they would be crying bloody murder! The hypocrisy is quite pathetic and beyond reprehensible.

In 2011 the Obama administration bombed Libya into oblivion while using racist and terrorist rebel groups to do their dirty deeds on the ground. These terrorists often targeted Black Africans for rape, torture, and public lynchings, simply because they were seen as allies to Muammar Gaddafi -- who had provided a safe haven for those same Black Africans.

Don't Run Away So Fast — The Things I Would Like To Do To You, You Beautiful Little Boy

Posted by: | Jun 9 2020 18:09 utc | 71

What the Russian mercenaries are doing in Libya is illegal with regards to international law and is no different than the illegal US presence in Syria.

Posted by: Innocent Civilian | Jun 9 2020 16:28 utc | 64

Yes this is true but on international law it is the party that use them that is in violation and in this case Haftar rather than Russian government.

As for the motive for Russian government to join the fray in Libyan conflict you can trace them back into Syria and Turkey adventurism in Syria. The goal probably just as simple, create stability where radical forces wouldn't thrive or grow.

Why most poster seemingly forgot that Turkey or rather Erdogan hasn't given up their goal in taking up Syrian north territories for themselves and how they're now sending Syrian mercenaries to Libya allegedly to fight the Russian there ? Wiping these Syrian element out in Libya does as much as fulfilling their objective in Syria.

Posted by: Lucci | Jun 9 2020 18:11 utc | 72

Posted by: Paco | Jun 9 2020 18:08 utc | 70

Paco, didn't wait long enough. @69 'we came' 1.

Posted by: Sakineh Bagoom | Jun 9 2020 18:43 utc | 73

@ Posted by: | Jun 9 2020 12:28 utc | 54

The post mentions Russia is only interfering with arms sales (pantsyr) and mercenaries. Both of them are revenues, not expenses.

The only expense mentioned is the planes, which are seemingly piloted by Russians.

I don't see Russia directly, except in the diplomatic sphere, involved in Libya.

Posted by: vk | Jun 9 2020 13:29 utc | 57

One can see that Putin cares very much to get a maximum bang from a ruble. I would add that the geo-political situation changed, when Kaddafi was toppled Russia had very precarious connection to Libya, while NATO openly operated with large maritime and air forces. Now the opponent is Turkey with no nearby naval and air bases, while Egypt is sympathetic to Haftar cause and mulls direct intervention, perhaps in the eventuality of direct involvement of Turkish military. NATO is kind of baffled what to do.

Goals of Russia are opaque, goals of Egypt are clear. Just prying Egypt somewhat away from USA/NATO is a plus for Russia, and getting revenue from UAE is a plus too. Concerning Libya, the western part has the majority of population, and while the militias dominating the region have substantial differences, Haftar has much smaller manpower base. His support in the east seems sketchy too, and "manpower" was reported to be eclectic: some "secular supporters" who should be faithful core, a warlike Salafist sect, and Saharan mercenaries, with unclear proportions -- opponents claim that the "core" is at best 1/3 of twenty-something thousands. Mind you, GNF (?) has eclectic support as well, and no unified command.

In those circumstances, 13 thousands of "combat hardened" mercenaries shipped from Syria could be a game changer. However, one can guess that they will not be able to cross a line drawn in (literal) sand that is defended from air and anti-aircraft batteries -- plus some people. Additional forces shipped by Turkey can be met by Egyptian armor at well-defined lines (there were claims that photos of Egyptian tanks being transported represent a move to Egypt/Libya border).

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jun 9 2020 20:37 utc | 74

[crimes] that would even make ISIS jealous:

Posted by: Innocent Civilian | Jun 9 2020 16:28 utc | 64

The linked article is not convincing at all. For example, there is a long part about "identification" of the location of crime, which is baffling. "Relief" was matching, meaning, both locations were flat, and structures were "matching", namely a semi-cylinder shaped storage shed that you can find everywhere, and tall light like you can see on parking lots, there for guarding purposes. Additionally, structures that do not match, pavement in one photo missing in the other photo etc.

Nevertheless, it is plausible that a small group was guarding oil and/or gas processing facility in Syrian desert and they caught or killed a terrorist who wanted to sabotage the facility and/or kill the workers, the body was mutilated and hanged. I would be the last to advocate mutilation of the body, but writing that ISIS would envy that is "the mother of all hyperboles". Connections with "Putin's cook" and a number of other "details" (including the misbegotten "geo-location") are hallmarks of a hack job.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jun 9 2020 21:02 utc | 75

Laguerre, There's no mystery why the people of Tripoli didn't rise up. They are completely suppressed. They get shot if they protest. If they speak against the GNA, they get disappeared. People get kidnapped for ransom, girls get raped. An activist against rape recently got murdered in her own home. Surveillance trucks drive round. People get stopped and their phones checked for any activity against the GNA etc. The ones happy with the situation are the Islamists/MB and possibly most ethnic Turks

Posted by: Ruth | Jun 9 2020 22:00 utc | 76


I do not know what kind of convincing does it take to deny what eyes see and ears hear. There is a clear violation of law (be it Syrian or Russian) and the responsible states whose citizens involved in the act did not take any action. You can talk about how the pavement in one photo is missing, or being the last advocate in mutilation of the bodies of the prisoners, while the people who committed these crimes are still having free reign in having their way with it. Is it too difficult for one to admit that Wagner is no different or in some ways even worse than Blackwater? Or should we close our eyes and get over with it?

While some put the blame on GNA for its actions about how it oppresses the people in Tripoli, I'd like to remind that we still did not hear the whereabouts of Ms. Siham Sergewa (a member of the House of Representatives in Benghazi) who was kidnapped from her home in July 2019, or that the recent UNSMIL report covering the first quarter of 2020 documents more than 80% of the civilian casualties are attributed to LNA, or hundreds of people killed by the Kaniyat in Tarhuna and the mass graves found in the same city - the graves of people who were family members of people aligned with GNA.

Posted by: Innocent Civilian | Jun 10 2020 1:21 utc | 77

I have no reason to suspect that Innocent Civilian is not what he/she pretends to be, i.e. an innocent civilian. However, he links to an article which raises serious doubts if the authors are what they pretend to be, i.e. journalist.

Somewhere in a desert there is an industrial installation that most probably is involved in a heinous activity, namely producing gas and or oil that can support "the regime" by making the population less destitute than otherwise, in spite of insane sanctions from the very moral West. There is a small guarding unit. They are periodically attacked and/or sabotaged. They should stay on the straight and narrow, but instead they make a selfie with a cut head. "Color me surprised". If the article was restricted to that, it could be journalism, instead they "connect the dots". One connection is to a photo to another place in the desert, with a passing resemblance -- but to my eye, not the same (like the pavement issue). The rest of connections, like to the "cook of Putin", is probably equally phony.

Suppose that Innocent Civilian is correct, namely that we have a proof of a crime, although not clear who, when and where -- legally you need such details. Innocent Civilian is not merely innocent but also reasonable. Since it is hard to make a legal case, we can aim to agree on morality. Wagner is perhaps worse than Blackwater. So it should be treated at least as harsh as Blackwater? Done! It already happened.

Some people with very comfortable offices and homes engineer the creation of war zones. What happens in the war zones is not pretty. People have traumatic stress disorder (not post-traumatic because the traumatic situation lasts) and some percentage behaves irrationally violent. Is it culture, national character, or mostly the lamentable situation? Because people from different cultures and nations end up doing pretty much the same stuff, I would say it is the situation. But people from comfortable offices with comfortables homes and caring families lack any justification.

And the paper trails to Washington think tanks and European Atlanticists is more solid that to "the cook of Putin".

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jun 10 2020 5:26 utc | 78

Slightly Off Topic anyone who is using the expression "Uncle Tom" should read the book "Uncle Tom's cabin" which is where the expression somehow originated and then was twisted into a bigoted insult against black people who are "too white" as if black people shouldn't be allowed to be whoever they are or want to be like anyone else.

I wonder who first did that, one either has to be incredibly stupid or incredibly conniving and malicious to take a story about a slave who was a gentle soul trying to make the best of things and stay true to himself and then turn it into an insult.

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Jun 10 2020 10:34 utc | 79

Oops wrong thread. I'm sorry.

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Jun 10 2020 10:34 utc | 80

TTG over at Pat Lang's SST has added a little more texture to the Syria SNAFU and admits that, although it's the result of 3 weeks of careful sifting, it's far from complete. I hope TTG knows what he's doing. He makes a passing reference to info from Moscow Times which is about as Russian as the New York Times, or the Christian Science Monitor, imo.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jun 11 2020 1:25 utc | 81

Correction to #81.

The intended subject of my #81 was Libya, not Syria.
Apologies for the typo and any confusion caused.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jun 11 2020 22:14 utc | 82

@ 81/82 hoarsewhisperer.. just read ttg's overview... i wasn't that impressed... thanks for pointing it out..

Posted by: james | Jun 11 2020 22:38 utc | 83

Still not seeing the gameplan? When Haftar
was winning, US was showering him with llove.
When he did not cooperate — his family in US
threatened. GNA UN recognized — left for dead
by US. This was anticipated by Russia-Egypt-
Turkey-Qatar. So, Heftar the Mighty had to be
pulled down a peg or two or three. To do it
Turkey just suddenly showed up (like it did
not pan it in detail with Russia). A chance
was given to West — conference in Berlin —
where suddenly all “powers” showed up to
sabotage — like 40 conditions. Thank you — but
not thank you. Now it was time to make Heftar
undesirable to US — and back to those left
for dead — GNA. Really? Now that they are
fortified by Turkey and Qatar — they need US?
Also, Turkey is emptying Idlib of non-local
Islamic fighters — depriving West supported
HTS of fighters.

As for maritime deal — nothing to fo with Greece
or pathetic UK dominated Cyprus — it is AlLL
about ISRAEL, and attempt to bypass Turkey
and Russian gas pipeline to Europe. ISRAEL
is drilling in their PRESUMABLY EEZ -/ but wait
Israel has no rights as IT IS NOT SIGNATORY
to UNCLOS. Neither is Turkey — so Turkey and
Libya are dividing Mediterranean shelf — legal
under UNCLOS, Greece is nothing but a
bystander, destined to host Israeli pipeline to
shore. With Hefter now out of danger of being
blackmailed by US — it will now be Egypt and
Turkey guaranteeing the peace and the two
parts will remain separate — similar to status
before becoming one country. Egypt tanks have
already rolled in. This time there will be no
need for getting approval from Europe. They
can be agreeable— and hope get some interest.
Italy and France — if they behave. This was
smartly played. Not over — but they can
remain separate and do well.

Posted by: Bianca | Jun 15 2020 5:04 utc | 84

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Posted by: ABsecurity | Jul 3 2020 19:58 utc | 85

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