Since early 2019, Libya’s eastern-based military commander Khalifa Haftar has exerted significant efforts to position his self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA) as the territorially-dominant force across the country’s western half. An ostensible takeover of the Fezzan, the country’s southwestern province, was the first step of that conquest attempt. This policy brief examines the depth of the LNA’s territorial gains there, and describes the dynamics used. Haftar’s discourse, which depicts his armed coalition as the sole entity capable of countering extremism and ensuring stability, stands in contrast with the reality.
In April 2019, Khalifa Haftar, the militia commander whose forces control much of eastern Libya, began an assault on the capital, Tripoli, in an effort to topple the country’s internationally recognized Government of National Accord (GNA).
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