Why did Saqr Geroushi, the commander of Operation Dignity’s Libyan air force recently announce that the forces under his command would shoot down Turkish aircraft that entered Libyan airspace without permission? Turkey’s reaction was swift. Its Ministry of Foreign Affairs condemned the threat and indirectly chastised the forces under the command of General Khalifa Haftar, who launched and continues to lead Operation Dignity, and is supported by the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Saudi Arabia.
Haftar, in previous statements, has made it clear that he intends to rout and outlaw the Muslim Brotherhood, whose Libyan political affiliate, the Justice and Construction Party (JCP) Turkey has supported since it was first established in March 2012. After the euphoria of the Libyan revolution receded, the JCP failed to broaden its base of support and struggled to capitalize on the Brotherhood’s newfound electoral freedom. As Mary Fitzgerald, a journalist and Libya analyst, notes, Muammar al-Qaddafi’s long suppression of the Muslim Brotherhood has damaged the group’s brand and limited its electoral viability, “while the Brotherhood’s setbacks across the Middle East have further emboldened Libyan anti-Brotherhood activists.”
Article by Aaron Stein, War on the Rocks.
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