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Egypt, UAE send military support to Libya's Haftar

June 22, 2019 at 12:15 pm

Forces loyal to renegade Libyan General Khalifa Haftar patroling in downtown Sebha, the biggest city in southern Libya [AFP/Getty Images]

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has offered urgent military support for the forces of Libyan General Khalifa Haftar, who is fighting against the internationally-recognised Libyan government in the capital Tripoli.

Egypt also dispatched military experts to the battlefields in Libya to fight side-by-side with Haftar’s forces, Arabi 21 reported yesterday.

Arabi 21 cited reports by a Russian newspaper that the UAE has sent the Pantsir Defence System S1 to Haftar’s forces, which will allow them to combat the fighter jets of the Libyan government, which pushed Haftar’s forces from the airport on Tuesday.

In addition to the Pantsir Defence System, the military aid included anti-aircraft missiles, artillery ammunition and night sighting devices.

A couple of days ago, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi received Aqila Saleh, the speaker of Haftar’s parliament, during which the president reiterated his “full support” for Haftar.

On 4 April 2019, Haftar launched a military campaign to occupy Tripoli and oust the Libyan government. Haftar’s attack coincided with UN plans to hold a national dialogue conference in Libya, which was undermined by Haftar’s campaign.

Libya has been engaged in civil war since 2011, when former Prime Minister Muammar Gaddafi was overthrown against the backdrop of the Arab Spring.

Read: UN-backed Libya government announces plans to end crisis