Libya Coup General Conducts Airstrikes on Benghazi

Interior Ministry, Militia Fight Over Cabinet Office

Fighting is once again picking up in Libya today, as coup leader Gen. Khalifa Hifter’s troops launched airstrikes against Benghazi, targeting the bases of an Islamist faction they claim are allied with “terrorists.”

Gen. Hifter, who earlier in this month captured parliament, is in the process of trying to consolidate power, and insists he will continue his operations until the entire nation is “cleansed” of Islamist factions.

In addition to his own self-proclaimed “Libyan National Army,” Hifter commands the loyalty of parts of Libya’s actual military, while parliament’s support seems to be primarily split between the Interior Ministry and Islamist militias.

Even parliament’s allies don’t necessarily get along, however, as fighting was also reporting in Tripoli when an unnamed Islamist militia attacked the Interior Ministry troops guarding a cabinet office. The fighting appears to be related to an ongoing power struggle within parliament, which may be mooted by the reality that parliament was ousted militarily by Hifter anyhow.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.