After several weeks of fighting, the self-professed Libyan National Army has captured southwest Benghazi, the final stronghold of jihadist fighters in the East.
The siege resulted in the deaths of 23 resistance fighters and five Libyan National Army soldiers, with six wounded. Many others were arrested in the siege, and several family members of the resistance fighters are unaccounted for.
Since the fall of Libyan President Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, Benghazi fell into the control of warring jihadist groups, including ISIS. Khalifa Haftar, commander of the Libyan National Army, has recently increased attacks on terrorist groups.
The successful raids have managed to purge the jihadists from Benghazi, who took control of the city in 2014.
There are two major sides in the current civil war in Libya: The Eastern Libyan National Army, which is backed by Russia, while the United Nations, European Union, Arab League and African Union recognize the Western government in Libya’s capital, Tripoli.
Chief of the Arab league Ahmed Aboul-Gheit commented, “We agreed on supporting the (UN-backed) presidential council in its efforts to exert security control in the capital, including the implementation of the truce agreement.”
Various armed groups support the Western government in Tripoli, though the situation is unstable with several militias still operating in the capital region.
Since the NATO-lead coalition ousted Gaddafi, Libya has been in chaos. Prior to the fall of the Gaddafi regime, Libya was producing 1.6 million barrels of oil per day, which accounted for 95 percent of national revenue according to a World Bank report. In February 2017, Libya was producing less than half of that, at 700,000 barrels per day. Inflation was last measured at 29 percent.
The economic and political peril of Libya speaks to the need of libertarian principles: Aggressive foreign policy has very real consequences, which have resulted in calamity for Libya and the growth of international terrorism.
Photo Source: Al Jazeera
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