Sources at Al-Ahram Centre for Political Studies have revealed that Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar has called on Egypt to supply him with surface-to-surface missiles to back his attack on the Libyan capital Tripoli.
The sources said that, during a meeting with President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi two weeks ago, Haftar presented an assessment of his forces’ situation in the field involved in ongoing clashes with troops loyal to the internationally-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA). He also explained why there has been a stalemate over the past few days.
The sources told the New Khaleej that Haftar also asked the Egyptian president to provide him with mine flail tanks and experts to train his forces in guerrilla warfare techniques, in preparation for a long battle against the GNA forces in Tripoli. In response, Al-Sisi renewed his support for Haftar, claiming that the latter has engaged in a war against terrorism, extremist groups and militias in Libya.
On Tuesday, the Head of Egyptian intelligence, Major General Abbas Kamel, met Haftar during a visit to the headquarters of the General Command of the Eastern Forces led by the Libyan officer. During the meeting, Hesham Ashmawi was handed over to the Egyptians. The former army officer is accused of leading armed attacks against the Egyptian army and police.
Since launching his attack on Tripoli in early April, Haftar has visited Cairo twice within a month to meet Al-Sisi. Egypt’s support for Haftar became evident with the emergence of Egyptian weapons at his troops’ disposal, amid reports of the presence of high-ranking Egyptian army officers in the central operations room running the attack on Tripoli.
According to the Wall Street Journal, a senior official in the US administration has said that Al-Sisi has put pressure on US President Donald Trump to support Haftar’s efforts to seize Tripoli.