Greenfield: Will a rogue general undo Obama’s regime change in Libya?

Smoke rises above Tripoli during fighting in Libya yesterday

Forty-five years ago a group of officers led by Colonel Gaddafi seized control of Libya. Gaddafi enjoyed support from the military and Federalist opponents of a central government.

Now General Khalifa Hifter is leading another military coup while vowing to free Libya of chaos, instability and corruption. His forces pounded Islamic militias in Benghazi, including those responsible for the murder of four Americans, and seized the parliament in Tripoli.

Hifter, who has spent a long time living in the United States, claims to have American support, but his real support probably comes from the east.

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Members of the Libyan emergency services extinguish burning rubble on May 21, 2014 following an explosion at a carpet factory the previous evening in the Sallaheddin neighbourhood of the capital Tripoli. (AFP)

Related news: Libya proposes June election as crisis escalates: (Reuters) – Libyan authorities on Tuesday proposed a June national election as the government sought to resolve a standoff over parliament involving powerful brigades of former rebel fighters.

Libya’s General National Congress (GNC) is at the heart of the crisis after gunmen claiming loyalty to a renegade former general attacked the parliament with anti-aircraft cannons on Sunday, demanding its suspension.

Parliament, split between Islamist and anti-Islamist forces, had said in February it would hold early elections, under pressure over Libya’s chaotic transition to democracy since the 2011 uprising that ousted Muammar Gaddafi.

Libya’s major western oilfields remain closed: (Reuters) – Libya’s major western oilfields remain closed 10 days after the government said protesters blocking pipeline flows had agreed to leave, while total oil output edged higher, a spokesman for National Oil Corp said on Wednesday.

Only the small 30,000-barrels-per-day (bpd) Wafa field was producing normally in the west, NOC spokesman Mohammed El Harari said.

U.S. does not condone, support Haftar actions in Libya: (Reuters) – The U.S. State Department said on Tuesday it does not support, condone or assist in recent actions by forces loyal to renegade Libyan general Khalifa Haftar, including the attack on Libya’s parliament.

Libyan capital rocked by gunfire, explosions: At least two people were killed when heavy fighting erupted near the Libyan capital of Tripoli on Wednesday, two days after gunmen stormed parliament in some of the city’s worst violence since the 2011 war.

Residents reported several loud explosions near the al-Yarmouk barracks in the Salaheddin district. Gunfire and explosions later appeared to die down.

Heavy fighting involving anti-aircraft batteries also broke out near an army camp in Tajoura, an eastern suburb. “We’re hearing really loud explosions and gunshots near the camp, but we don’t know who is shooting,” a Tajoura resident said.

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