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Old 08-27-2014   #221
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Originally Posted by CrowBat View Post
you entirely missed my point about origins of support for Haftar (provided by 'other' circles in the USA).
I didn't miss it, I ignored it. Such claims mean exactly nothing until the supposed "other circles" are identified and the claim is supported with a credible citation.
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Old 08-27-2014   #222
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posted by Crowbat

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Please define 'we' - first.
You are certainly in that category, and the rest of your post was largely unintelligible and overly emotional. I'm responding to what I think you're saying, but to be frank it isn't clear.

Quote:
Yeah, 'great solution': describe what happened at the start, so to get the argument that's in your interest - and then black out whatever happened subsequently.
Explain? I think I focused on what happened subsequently, and don't pretend to claim what would have happened if we intervened, but I can refer to recent history and point out our interventions have made the situation worse, which to me makes claims that "we" have to intervene seem unfounded in logic and bit hubristic. Intervene to accomplish what?

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The Western intervention in Libya has opened a way for reorganization of the country - which was entirely impossible during the previous dictatorship. Between others it brought to power a government that was most cooperative and supportive with the West in the entire Middle East. Thus, that intervention was start of a specific, and usually rather 'lengthy' process, yet a very successful one.
I agree with you to a large extent, and I'm not ignoring the fact that we removed a dictator and stopped him from using his mercenaries to slaughter his own people. However, I think our mingling in the political process afterwards didn't achieve its goals, and this is where I'm arguing we don't understand the region. Military arts are military arts, we know how to defeat most adversaries militarily, it is the political and social dynamics we don't understand, and our nave approach of insisting on immediately establishing a democratic government in the midst of post war chaos that has resulted three times in recent history in pulling defeat from the jaws of military victory (Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya). Democracy is a long term objective that doesn't need to be pursued immediately. Non democratic governments can be both good and effective and ultimately enable a peaceful transition to democracy if that is the way the people desire to be governed.

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Similarly, you're not going to mention that two years later, and with another character in (supposed) charge of US foreign policy, you've got a situation where there was a military coup by somebody renowned as supported by specific 'other' circles within the USA.
Quote:
The character in question coupped himself to power with explanation that this was necessary in order to 'battle Islamists'. But, once in power, he did nothing of that sort: on the contrary, he turned against militias that were already fighting the Islamists...
Show your facts, I'm not familiar with this, and blogs on the internet where kids and imaginative adults make wild claims are not facts. Furthermore, if this is true, it would support my argument that we don't know what we're doing, so even if the intentions are good we won't be effective, which calls our desire for intervention into question.

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If now there would only be no people with memory better than that of the fish...
Enlighten us, where we have we in recent memory intervened with our military and attempted to reform a country's government that resulted in a better peace?
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Old 08-27-2014   #223
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Originally Posted by Dayuhan View Post
I didn't miss it, I ignored it.
Thanks. You finally admit you're ignoring my answers.

So, no 'ignore function' on this forum, but means not I cannot simply ignore your posts entirely in the future too, troll.
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Old 08-27-2014   #224
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...You are certainly in that category...
I'm in category 'knows not what's going on'?

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...and the rest of your post was largely unintelligible and overly emotional.
And, 'very sarcastic' yes, 'emotional' - definitely not: I don't recall my pulse accelerating any in quite some time.

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Explain? I think I focused on what happened subsequently, and don't pretend to claim what would have happened if we intervened, but I can refer to recent history and point out our interventions have made the situation worse, which to me makes claims that "we" have to intervene seem unfounded in logic and bit hubristic. Intervene to accomplish what?
'Removal of a dictator so to enable a complete reform of the country, society, economy etc.'. That aim was achieved, hands down.

The country was then - largely - left on its own (and, a lil' bit, to Europeans plus the UAE). At least for the next two years.

Then came Qalifa Haftar.

Do you know who is Haftar? Guess not - and that, plus your indications of me not having a clue what's up there in Libya and similar places - is what's making me as sarcastic here. Haftar was the C-in-C of Libyan troops in Chad, back in the second half of the 1980, until his major force was utterly defeated (by US-French-supported, trained and armed Chadian insurgency-cum-army) at Martan as-Sahra (major oasis and air base in SE Libya) and he captured (together with better parts of two of his mechanized brigades), back in 1988.

While still in Chadian captivity, he fell out of favour with Q and in 1990requested - and was granted - asylum in the USA, and became a US citizen over the time too. And where did he settle there: in Vienna, outside DC. One is left to guess: why so close to Langley...?

And in 2011, and all of a sudden, he re-appeared in Libya, with pockets stuffed full of money to claim himself a commander of the revolutionary military - which nobody between revolutionaries, but foremost nobody within the NTC (provisional government) was ready to accept. And when his repeated efforts to impose himself in command all failed, then he coupped himself to power.

Bottom line: I've got no clue who to hell in the USA is backing him, but this somebody has helped Haftar remove a legal government and impose himself in power, and I strongly doubt that this was undertaken with any kind of consent from the WH.

Bottom line: the US intervention was 'good', in terms of immediate results it brought, and in terms of outlooks it opened for Libya. But then, there was another, unofficial intervention that ruined two years of reforms. That is no fault of Libyans, and especially: it's no fault of the US (and NATO + friends) intervention from 2011.

We can discuss all the things that got botched up there in Libya by their own authorities/government of the last two years, to full extension if you like. The point is: like always in similar cases, left on their own and with enough time, they would've sorted things out - and do so in their own fashion.

But, no: a US citizen with obvious backing from unknown circles within the USA came in between to impose his own, military dictatorship. And then, instead of doing what he said was the reason for his coup, namely fighting the Islamists, Haftar didn't move against these. On the contrary, he moved against Zintanis and Misuratis, and opened the doors wide open for Islamists: before his coup, the latter were nobody in Libya. They wouldn't have had a single vote in the national government/parliament without buying even that one (a publicly-known fact in Libya). But since Haftar is in power, you can meanwhile find the Islamists in control of Tripoli IAP... Except for a sort of 'buffer zone' to the Egyptian border, Haftar can't say he's in safe control of the capital any more.

And that's why I say: PLEASE, do yourself a favour and don't explain something like 'see Libya, you can't know what might have happened in Syria if we intervened there', or 'we shouldn't because we don't know what are we doing'. Libya of 2011 is an excellent example for what was possible to do with Syria too (up to, say, mid-2013). Libya of 2014, on the contrary, is an entirely different pair of shoes - one that has nothing to do with 'military intervention' of 2011 any more: it's connected with private interests of who-knows-what circles in the USA, perhaps Egypt too.

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Enlighten us, where we have we in recent memory intervened with our military and attempted to reform a country's government that resulted in a better peace?
Oh my... what's with Bosnia (1995), Serbia (1999), Libya (2011).... Nothing of this ever happened, or the situation in all these places 'worsened' meanwhile...?
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Old 08-27-2014   #225
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And that's why I say: PLEASE, do yourself a favour and don't explain something like 'see Libya, you can't know what might have happened in Syria if we intervened there', or 'we shouldn't because we don't know what are we doing'. Libya of 2011 is an excellent example for what was possible to do with Syria too (up to, say, mid-2013). Libya of 2014, on the contrary, is an entirely different pair of shoes - one that has nothing to do with 'military intervention' of 2011 any more: it's connected with private interests of who-knows-what circles in the USA, perhaps Egypt too.
As I said I thought what we did in Libya worked also as far as removing a dictator and chasing his brutal mercenaries out of the country. I don't think we had a lot of time to think about the morning after, much like Afghanistan, so we rushed in and as usual sort of hoped it would work out for the best. I definitely don't think we should have more than SOF on the ground, but the arguments about the negatives are now we have a failed state (as you said it will have to rearrange itself overtime), which allowed a massive amount of weapons to spread to other parts of Africa according to some empowering a number of groups such as AQ in Mali and enabled the BH to be better armed than the Nigerian military. It also enabled the Islamists to vie for power in Libya, which apparently is prompting Egypt and QAE to intervene to protect their interests based on fear of the Islamists getting a base in the region where they can support rebel groups in their countries.

I have no idea how Libya will sort things out in the midst of this chaos and interest groups with widely divergent interests, and numerous external actors interfering. At the end of the day we have to deal with the world as it is, not as we want it to be.

In short I think the way we supported the Libyan rebels was a classic use of our military in a relatively modest way to achieve a strategic impact, but we'll be hesitant and with good reason if we don't develop the doctrinal approach subsequent to removing a dictator for promoting conditions that enable the people to sort out their future. That becomes especially difficult when it is the Islamists that are the best organized (politically and militarily) and they threaten our interests and the interests of others in the region. It is something we helped enable and now we can't escape it, and yes I think we would see a similar result in Syria and that mess would threaten Iraq even more and also Turkey and Jordan. Act yes, but after thinking through it. Frankly that should have been done by now, but instead we're responding to Iraq like it is a crisis (it is) instead of deliberately. That is what happens when you have a country that has divorced itself from strategy.

As for Haftar, the following might be of interest to others following this thread. Have I heard of him? Yes Did I did know his background? No.

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/ne...tions-in-libya

Quote:
The retired Libyan General Khalifa Haftar said in a taped speech Friday that seeking the help of Arab troops in Libya is "no longer unlikely."

Haftar addressed members of the Libyan parliament, urging them to make necessary decisions to support his "Karama Operation".

"We have to be aware of the conspiracy planned against our army," he said.

Haftar added that "the army will not interfere in the political process, and will always maintain its impartiality."
http://www.theguardian.com/world/201...ifa-haftar-war

Quote:
Hafter estimates that, with his current capabilities, the operation will take six months. "But if we receive military supplies from friendly countries the time will be less," he says, an indication that such help has perhaps not yet materialised despite talk of Egyptian, Emirati and Saudi support. "We have not asked Egypt to conduct air raids in Libya, but if we need this we will ask for it without any hesitation."

He claims to have "indirect contacts" with the US, and hints he believes support may be forthcoming. "I don't think the Americans will stay away from this fight against terrorism. We are battling an enemy hated by the whole world."
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-27492354

Quote:
After Gaddafi's downfall, Mr Haftar appeared to have faded into relative obscurity, like other former regime figures who joined the revolution.

That remained the case until February 2014, when TV channels posted a video of him outlining his plan to save the nation and calling on Libyans to rise up against the elected parliament, the General National Congress (GNC).
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Old 08-29-2014   #226
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Re. 'failed state': one can't know without giving Libyans the necessary time. Measured by experiences from much more favourable situation in the Eastern Europe (i.e. ex-members of the Warsaw Pact), reform of such countries, their society and economy can easily take 20 years. Libya hasn't got even a quarter of that - but is already declared a 'failure'?

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...which allowed a massive amount of weapons to spread to other parts of Africa according to some empowering a number of groups such as AQ in Mali and enabled the BH to be better armed than the Nigerian military....
This is one of funniest parts of this affair: everybody is talking about 'massive amount of weapons spread' from Libya, but nobody can show any.

Surely, several shipments of Libyan small arms, ammo and even some light artillery have reached Syria, but with one exception every shipment containing MANPADs was intercepted while underway there. Actually, only a handful of ex-Libyan MANPADS ever surfaced anywhere abroad (in Syria); half of them were spent to shoot at SyAAF fighter-bombers and helicopters, the other half was non-operational. Re. AQIM and Mali: I've seen photos of their armament captured by the French and Algerians and sorry, but nothing of what I've seen was from Libya - rather captured from the collapsing Malian Army. I'm following the little-known campaign vaged against local extremists in southern Tunisia too (as usually: whenever there is an 'obscure' air force involved, I'm tracking what's going on): perhaps few AK-47s there are from Libyan stocks, even that's not sure.

Which is making me wonder: where is evidence of these 'massive amounts of Libyan weapons' being spread around Africa and similar places?

If we would be talking about Q's times, when he was delivering L-39s to Uganda (and deploying even Tupolev Tu-22s bombers there), MiG-21s to Mali, MiG-23s to the DR Congo and Zimbabwe etc. (not to talk about his deployment of an entire brigade of Chadian Army into the DR Congo, back in 1998), 'sure'. But since his fall?

Whatever, the point remains that the intervention of 2011 was successful in its aim - removal of dictator to open the country for reforms. The fact that these reforms were crudely interrupted by a military coup, means not that the intervention was 'wrong', or its results 'poor'.

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That becomes especially difficult when it is the Islamists that are the best organized (politically and militarily) and they threaten our interests and the interests of others in the region. It is something we helped enable and now we can't escape it, and yes I think we would see a similar result in Syria and that mess would threaten Iraq even more and also Turkey and Jordan.
Say, an intervention resulting in a group like the IF coming to power in Syria wouldn't have threatened security of Turkey, because there is an equal Islamist in power there. On the contrary, it would be 'better' for Iraq, because IF is at odds with the ISIS.

Quote:
Act yes, but after thinking through it. Frankly that should have been done by now, but instead we're responding to Iraq like it is a crisis (it is) instead of deliberately. That is what happens when you have a country that has divorced itself from strategy.
Agreed.
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Old 10-31-2014   #227
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Default Politics by Other Means: Conflicting Interests in Libya’s Security Sector

Small Arms Survey, 30 October 2014: Politics by Other Means: Conflicting Interests in Libya’s Security Sector
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....a new Working Paper from the Small Arms Survey’s Security Assessment in North Africa project, examines the rise and fall of hybrid security sector institutions in Libya, and the political interests at stake in security sector reform. It charts the evolution of the post-Qaddafi Libyan army, the SSC (the transitional government’s attempt to co-opt revolutionary fighters), and the LSF (the revolutionary fighters’ attempt to exert control on the transitional government), as well as their interaction with the transitional authorities.
Published earlier this month by NOREF, Stealing the Revolution: Violence and Predation in Libya, is an excellent - and brief - backgrounder on the fragmentation addressed in greater detail in the SAS paper.
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Old 11-21-2014   #228
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Default A severely splintered and massively over-armed country

A short BBC News commentary, that rightly ends with:
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His legacy is awful to behold. The Gaddafi disease was terrible. The cure has not been found.
Link:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-30093893

Almost like Zimbabwe, even in Mugabe and cronies remain in power. I fear the West, if not many others will "wash their hands" of Libya and it will implode, like the Lebanon did. Who stopped that civil war, enforcing stability for a long time? Syria under Assad Senior, not to overlook Israel's contribution or others.
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Old 01-06-2015   #229
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Default Libya 2015: Another front where victory was declared too soon.

Planes taking off from airfields in Libya and bombing Greek tankers sounds like a rerun of 1941.

Quote:
CAIRO (AP) — Fighter jets dispatched by Libya's internationally recognized government bombed a Greek-owned tanker ship at an eastern city controlled by Islamist extremists Monday, killing two crew members and wounding two, Libyan and Greek officials said.

The bombing highlights the chaos that's gripped Libya since its 2011 civil war that deposed and killed dictator Moammar Gadahfi. Libyan officials apologized for the bombing as the Greek Foreign Ministry demanded compensation for the victims' families and punishment for those behind the attack.

Libyan military spokesman Ahmed al-Mesmari said jets struck the Liberian-flagged Araevo twice in Darna before his government learned the vessel was commissioned by the local power station. Darna is a base for Islamic extremists who have pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group.
http://news.yahoo.com/2-dead-unknown...092718995.html
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Old 01-13-2015   #230
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Default Briefing: Libya’s Proxy Battlefield

Provided by the Oxford Research Group:http://www.oxfordresearchgroup.org.u...xy_battlefield

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On the eve of UN-brokered talks between rival Libyan leaders and militia due to convene in Geneva this briefing sets out the various rationales for intervention from Libya’s neighbours and other international actors and how these may impact on the case for peace through dialogue and reconciliation. It argues that now is a moment of opening that has the potential to save Libya from descent into full-blown civil war.
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Old 02-12-2015   #231
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Default Libya is no more

That is my sad conclusion after reading this excellent summary of the position today in The Atlantic:http://www.theatlantic.com/internati...as-oil/385285/

It is now four years since the 'revolution' and there is no sign that the men with guns and pick-ups are ready to stop.

My only question after reading the article is whether the Libyan people are leaving. Again, as many left slowly whilst Gadafy was in power for decades.
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Old 02-16-2015   #232
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Default Two weeks in Libya

The result of touring around a long article in the New Yorker:http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/20...23/unravelling

I was wondering what happened to those Libyans who went home to oust Gadafy, the author says:
Quote:
Many of the young Libyans I met during the revolution are now in Tunisia, Egypt, Bulgaria, London—anywhere but Libya. The exiles who came back to build a new country have largely left.
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Old 02-16-2015   #233
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Dual posting -

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Sixty-four Islamic State fighters have been killed and dozens wounded in Egyptian-Libyan military airstrikes on Libya, announced the spokesperson of the Libyan military, reported Al-Ahram.
http://egyptianstreets.com/2015/02/1...s-in-24-years/
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Old 02-18-2015   #234
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Default Don't panic: planning for Libya

Some of the recent reporting on Libya (not linked here) reminds me of the WW2 British slogan 'Don't Panic, Stay Calm and Carry On'.

Caveat aside there is a report by the London-based Quilliam Foundation, based on:
Quote:
On 23 January 2015, a prominent supporter of Islamic State (IS) – the group that now controls much of Iraq and Syria – uploaded an essay, written in Arabic, entitled “Libya: The Strategic Gateway for the Islamic State”, on why jihadists needed to urgently flock to Libya to assist supporters of the so-called caliphate in their jihad.
Link to report, note the actual ISIS document is only 6 pgs in 15 pgs:http://www.quilliamfoundation.org/wp...for-the-is.pdf

Whilst Quilliam do not name the author, the Daily Telegraph do:
Quote:
The Isil propagandist, who uses the alias Abu Arhim al-Libim...
Link:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worl...to-Europe.html
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Old 03-15-2015   #235
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Default Who Wants What in Libya?

An excellent BBC World Service podcast 'Who Wants What in Libya?' and not a single UK or US expert cited. It lasts 24 mins:http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/inquiry

Nice comparison drawn between the Paris peace talks on Vietnam and the UN talks with Libyans, akin to:
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There's no table yet, we have not got that far.
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Old 03-25-2015   #236
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Default The Islamic State’s Strategy in Libya

A short explanation by Carnegie of the Islamic State’s Strategy in Libya; an example:
Quote:
..the Islamic State’s strategy in Libya seems to be directed instead at hastening state failure and fracturing the population’s sense of common nationhood. Meanwhile, it is also intensifying the conditions that will allow it to deepen its influence and form a national-religious identity in line with the caliphate’s own views.
Link:http://carnegieendowment.org/sada/20...-in-libya/i4w6
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Old 05-24-2015   #237
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Default Moving up the agenda outside Libya?

The civil war, now with a dash of ISIS, does get some attention in the media, albeit with rare in-country reporting. Instead the consequences of the absence of a working Libyan state is seen in the number of emigrants, refugees and possible terrorists transiting the country to get a boat north to Europe - invariably Italy - are well reported here in Europe.

Just whether anyone will intervene in Libya is a moot point. One Italian minister has murmured about 'protection', but Italy has a rather violent history pre-1939 when it occupied and colonised the country. Egypt and another Gulf kingdom sometimes launch air strikes.

Just whether this headline is justified, even true is debateable and it is in The Daily Mail, albeit by a Franco-Algerian Muslim journalist:
Quote:
Britain is 'helping turn Libya into a cradle of terrorism' exporting killers to Europe amid thousands of illegal immigrants
Link:http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...mmigrants.html
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Old 07-18-2015   #238
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Anyone here actually been watching what has been occurring in Libya (Sirte, Derna, Benghazi) over the last 45 days?
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Old 07-18-2015   #239
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Originally Posted by smellthebeans View Post
Anyone here actually been watching what has been occurring in Libya (Sirte, Derna, Benghazi) over the last 45 days?
Like others in Europe I have watched the civil war develop, now with ISIS on the prowl and sadly recoiled from too close a watch. Civil wars are rarely simple and invariably horrible.

There is relatively little reporting on Libya, in part as I suspect most media outlets rarely venture there, so one relies on agency and other sources.

The increasing flow of migrants via Libya across the Mediterranean to Italian territory gets more attention than the civil war, aided by the ability to report and of course endless pictures.

If you have been watching perhaps you can help to explain what has happened?
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Old 07-22-2015   #240
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Default Demise of an ex-Saddamist in Libya

A short comment by blogger Kyle Orton, it starts with:
Quote:
An Islamic State (ISIS) commander was killed in Libya in mid-June, The Daily Beast reported yesterday, after being “paraded … through the streets amid the taunts of onlookers, and then walked … to a gallows, where he was hanged.” This occurred in the eastern city of Derna, long a hotbed of Islamic militancy. The crucial thing about the “executed” ISIS operative is that he was an Iraqi and an FRE—a former (Saddam) regime element—who had been dispatched to Libya last year to oversee the cultivation of an ISIS branch.
Link:https://kyleorton1991.wordpress.com/...mist-in-libya/
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