Tuesday 24 January 2017

Military advisers heading to Libya with no strategy

Con Coughlin

Published 21/04/2011 | 05:00

A rebel fighter shows off a grenade as he stands at the frontline along the western entrance of Ajdabiyah yesterday
A rebel fighter shows off a grenade as he stands at the frontline along the western entrance of Ajdabiyah yesterday

The first major challenge that the British government's "military liaison team" will face when it arrives in Benghazi to provide assistance to Libya's opposition forces will be to decide which of the many factions it can work with.

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It is a measure of the disarray currently afflicting the rebels in their quest to overthrow Muammar Gaddafi that they cannot even agree on who is responsible for leading the offensive.

At present, there are two generals -- both previously Gaddafi loyalists -- who claim leadership, and have their own devoted bands of followers. General Abdul Fattah Younes, who until a few weeks ago served as Gaddafi's interior minister, claims to have been given command of the ragtag force battling to keep the dictator's forces at bay along the eastern coast. But his position is being challenged by General Khalifa Heftir, who fled into exile in the 1980s and became a close confidant of the CIA.

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