The Clash Report news agency has published a video that compared the statements of the French President, Emmanuel Macron, and of the Libyan National Army (LNA) leader, Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar.
HINT: Clash Report has been actively working to push the pro-Turkish narrative regarding the conflicts in Syria and Libya. It’s mostly known for releasing footage (often doctored) of Turkish drone operations.
While Macron denied France’s military presence in Libya, Haftar assured the opposite and thanked the French nation for its invaluable support.
French President #Macron: France does not support Haftar.
Militia leader of East Tripoli #Haftar:
?France supplied advisors and surveillance support to us.
?One of their surveillance aircraft had crashed and 3 of their soldiers died, but they did not stop supporting us. pic.twitter.com/aqjkjGrKMD
— Clash Report (@clashreport) July 1, 2020
Emmanuel Macron said in his statement:
” France does not support Marshal Haftar. France is present in Libya is doing to offer a lasting political solution.”
Meanwhile, Khalifa Haftar emphasized the French support to LNA forces:
” We consider France as a friend. This alliance was established with unprecedented cooperation between the two nations. France did a great job supporting us. France not only supported us but it was also the first country to side with us. They sided with us while other countries did not. They supplied intelligence and surveillance to us. They also sent advisors specialized in intelligence and reconnaissance. One of their surveillance aircraft had crashed and 3 of their soldiers died. The French government had continued to conduct surveillance flights for us. They also offered further support for us. We had benefited a lot from their support. We have infinite gratitude to our French counterparts. I would like to thank the French nation once more and to express the importance of their support to our cause. ”
The aircraft accident mentioned by Khalifa Haftar took place in 2016, and it revealed the French military presence in Libya. Three French soldiers were killed in a helicopter accident during an intelligence-gathering mission in Libya. The Benghazi Defense Brigades (BDB), a force of Islamists and other fighters expelled from Benghazi by LNA, claimed that it had shot the aircraft down.
The claims of pro-Turkish media outlets regarding the French support for Haftar’s forces are heightening as tensions remain between France and Turkey, both NATO members, over issues related to the situation in Libya. On July 1, Paris informed NATO of its withdrawal from the naval operation in the Mediterranean after the results of a probe into an incident between French and Turkish warships. Moreover, on June 26, Macron held a video conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin, during which they had discussed the conflicts in Libya and Syria.
At the same time, the figure of Haftar as the LNA leader loses the support of Paris. It can probably be replaced soon by a personality that suits France and other parties supporting the LNA as Egypt and Russia.
The growing tensions between the sides involved in a Libyan conflict are quite dangerous as the numerous actors protect their national interests in this region. The growing military presence of external forces in Libya increases the risks of escalation of a larger conflict.
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- Libya – Bone Of Contention For NATO