Egypt and UAE have recruited militants from Sudan and other African countries to support Libyan warlord Khalifa Haftar’s forces to capture Tripoli, well placed Libyan source told The New Arab.
“There is a supply line that has been opened by our allies in Egypt and UAE across the Egyptian border to support us in our next battle,” the source said on Monday, adding that Haftar’s forces is battling Turkey’s presence in Libya.
The “unprecedented” operation is being financed by UAE and Saudi Arabia, key allies for Haftar’s self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA), which holds eastern Libya and much of the country’s south.
UAE senior officials have reportedly made an agreement with General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, deputy chief of the army council and chief of the feared Rapid Support Forces, to supply Haftar’s forces with member of Sudanese militias.
Regional allies Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Egypt came forward as early enthusiastic supporters of the Sudanese military junta when it seized power from former long-standing President Omar al-Bashir in April.
Sudanese demonstrators have repeatedly accused the three allied nations of attempting to steer the country’s uprising in the same direction as Egypt’s revolution – that is, securing the long-term rule of the military rather than handing over power to civilians.
The UAE, Egypt and Saudi Arabia are seen as key supporters of Haftar.
In May, an investigation by Al-Jazeera Arabic TV revealed that cargo planes were found to be dropping off unidentified material at airbases controlled by general Haftar.
This was when Haftar was attempting to capture the Libyan capital Tripoli, which is controlled by the internationally-recognised government of Prime Minister Fayez Sarraj.
Libya has been mired in chaos as multiple militias vied for power after a NATO-backed uprising resulted in dictator Muammar Qaddafi’s death in 2011.
Haftar was a retired general who took part in the uprising but in May 2014 he launched his assault to purge the country of Islamists whom he says are “terrorists”.