Libya’s eastern gov’t opens Syria embassy, vows united fight against Turkey: report


Libya’s eastern-based government linked to military commander Khalifa Haftar opened an embassy in Syria on Tuesday and called for the two countries to unite in their common fight against Turkish-backed militant groups, Reuters reported.

Syria has faced resistance from Turkish forces allied to rebels in its northeast.

Libya has two governments, one based in the capital of Tripoli and widely recognized internationally, and another based in the east. Eastern commander Haftar has launched an assault to capture Tripoli and is fighting forces aligned with the government there that are backed militarily by Turkey.

“Terrorism will kill any Arab country if it’s permitted and if the criminal [President Recep Tayyip] Erdoğan is permitted to win this fight,” Syria’s deputy foreign minister, Faisal Mekdad, said at a ceremony to open the embassy.

President Bashar al-Assad has looked to shed his country’s pariah status and regain Arab support. The United Arab Emirates, which backs Haftar in Libya, re-opened its Damascus embassy in December 2018 and has forged closer ties after once supporting rebels fighting against Assad.

Libya’s diplomatic missions are generally aligned with the government based in Tripoli, but diplomats in some foreign capitals have supported the rival government based in the east.

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  1. There’s an interesting and threatening symmetry about the exchanges happening now between and among Libya and Syria, Turkey and Russia, and associated international armies. For example, the LNA attacks from Eastern Libya upon GNA drone bases in Western Libya; and the GNA Turkish drone swarms from Western Libya that are mobbing LNA sites in Eastern Libya, as well as against Syrian (and Russian) targets. This degree of combat chaos is new. It doesn’t resemble the Good Old Days. However, it does recall the Grande Olde Days of Chain Reaction, like World War One. And in 2020, there is a world wrapping chain of conflicts that need only one lit match to trigger the fireworks.