Egyptian armed forces are preparing for the execution of an extensive operation inside Libya in order to fight the revolutionaries and support the militias that are loyal to the UAE in Tripoli and Benghazi including troops commandeered by Brigadier General Khalifa Haftar, high ranking officials revealed.
The operation may include a possible ground invasion in East Libya with French aerial cover and funding from the UAE in order to enable Haftar to decisively win the battle, the sources told the Asrar Arabiya website.
The site said Libyan Prime Minister Abdullah Al-Thani’s visit to the UAE on Tuesday last week came within the framework of the preparations for the Egyptian, UAE and French intervention. During the visit, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Muhammad bin Zayid Al-Nahyan pledged to provide the necessary funding for the Egyptian troops that will carry out the invasion. The sources said France will provide the aerial cover and will carry out air raids in conjunction with the Egyptian military’s advance into Libyan territories.
The Libyan delegation that visited Abu Dhabi last week included the Speaker of Parliament Aqilah Saleh who is closely associated with the UAE.
Saleh met with Al-Sisi in Cairo on August 26, after the meeting he told the Egyptian media that “Sisi pledged to rebuild the Libyan army and assist with establishing a civilian police force”.
However, what was not published in the media and was confirmed by Asrar Arabiya sources in Cairo is that two secret military deals were concluded between the Tobruk group of Al-Thani and the regime in Cairo that permit Egypt to intervene militarily in Libya.
According to the sources, France, which considers the countries of the Arab Maghreb including Libya to fall within the sphere of its domain in the world, may provide air cover for the ground operations that will be carried out by the Egyptian forces in Libya. As for the funding, that will come from the UAE and perhaps also from Saudi Arabia. The purpose of these operations would be to strike the revolutionaries in Benghazi and Tripoli and to enable the militias loyal to the UAE and Saudi Arabia to seize control of main cities that are now under the control of the revolutionaries.
French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian has called for the formation of an alliance to uproot what he called the “terrorists” from Libya. In an interview with the French publication Le Figaro, he said: “We must intervene in Libya and mobilise the international community in this direction”.
Le Drian stressed that France is able to mobilise its troops that are deployed in a number of countries neighbouring Libya. He recalled what France did in Mali where “France succeeded in liberating Mali from the Jihadi encroachment.”
The UAE funded the French military operations in Mali and the two countries seem eager to repeat the same process in Libya with Egyptian participation.