Libyan Rivals Readying for Long Fight

Weapons flood into the country as war looks set to escalate

With more weapons flooding into the country and no real peace talks, the various combatant factions in Libya are all gearing up for a protracted civil war. This is true both of the large groups, like Khalifa Hafter’s Libyan National Army (LNA) and the UN-backed unity government, and smaller tribal groups.

With fighting looking to get worse, not better, the oil ports of Libya are under a state of blockade, with LNA forces and allies controlling the area, and everyone demanding a bigger cut of revenue to let the unity government restore shipments.

UN efforts to keep arms out of the country are failing miserably, and now every group sees new fighting as inevitable and is snatching up as many weapons for themselves as possible before that new round of violence.

And while a lot of the focus right now is on the influx of weapons, the fighting also threatens to drag a number of other countries in. Turkey is backing the unity government, and throwing Syrian rebels into the country to fight as well. The LNA, on the other hand, has allies from across the Middle East, s well as support from Russia.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.