Libya offensive stalls, but Haftar digs in given foreign sympathies
Khalifa Haftar’s push for Tripoli seems to have stalled, as his Libyan National Army (LNA) has not managed to make significant gains for about a week and still holds positions at 7 miles from the center of the Libyan capital. Thanks to support from various western military factions, the internationally recognized Libyan government in Tripoli has prevented Haftar from taking over the city.
However, the renegade military commander is unlikely to cave in to international calls for a ceasefire because countries like United Arab Emirates, Egypt and France believe he is the most suitable candidate for returning stability to the country for the first time since the overthrow of Gaddafi in 2011. Haftar says that he wants to purge the country of Islamist extremism and claims that the forces defending the government include thousands of Islamist militants.
Analyst Wolfram Lacher believes that while “these elements are a tiny minority of the forces that are fighting against Haftar right now, […] this could become a self-fulfilling prophecy the longer this goes on,” which means that “anybody who has an interest in preventing jihadist mobilization in Libya should have an interest in stopping this war now.”