The French newspaper “Le Monde” published a report, in which it talked about the formation of a new axis that brings together the President of the Syrian regime, Bashar Al-Assad, and the Libyan general, Khalifa Haftar, that nurtures foreign intervention in the Battle of Tripoli.
The newspaper said, in its translated report “Arabic 21“The steps of rapprochement between the two parties are an indication of the internationalization of the war in Libya, and a sign of the increasing interconnection between the theater theaters in the Syrian and Libyan territories, with its implications for the geopolitical situation in the Middle East.
The newspaper added that this axis came to light on March 3, when the internationally recognized government of eastern Libya, backed by Khalifa Haftar, announced the reopening of the Libyan embassy in Damascus, after it had been closed since 2012.
The newspaper stated that a high-level delegation from the city of Al-Bayda, near Benghazi, which represented the stronghold of General Khalifa Hifter, attended this event, which represents a disclosure of a relationship that had previously been kept secret, its first motivation is the common hostility towards Turkey, as the Syrian regime’s media announced that Representatives of the two parties spoke about “a joint response to the Turkish aggression against the two countries.”
The newspaper pointed out that this announcement represents a new step towards the reintegration of the Bashar Al-Assad regime into Arab diplomacy, and it comes as a reaction to Ankara’s alliance with Tripoli. Whereas, thanks to Turkish military support, the government of National Accord led by Fayez al-Sarraj was able to repel the attack launched by Khalifa Haftar with the support of the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Russia.
And the newspaper believes that Bashar al-Assad, through his alliance with Haftar, is seeking to get closer to the Saudi-led camp in the Middle East.
Read also: An embassy for “Haftar” in Damascus .. Does it affect his relationship with Abu Dhabi and Riyadh?
It is mentioned that Riyadh initially supported the Syrian revolution against Bashar Al-Assad, in order to aspire to weaken Iran, but then decided to distance itself from this revolution. Abu Dhabi had also decided to reopen its embassy in Damascus in December 2018, and in its manner, Manama was woven.
The newspaper quotes Jalal Harshawi, a researcher specializing in Libyan affairs at the Institute of International Relations in the Netherlands as saying: “For years, Egyptian and Emirati media propaganda no longer criticized Assad, but rather is portrayed as a magnanimous man who fights the Muslim Brotherhood. It is the same propaganda that has become It is broadcast by the media of Haftar, which says that Assad is fighting a war against political Islam.
The newspaper reported that the Damascus-Benghazi axis began to form more than two years ago. As in the fall of 2018, the United States had alerted the Tripoli government to the presence of planes coming from Damascus and landing in Benghazi. The American embassy has demanded that these flights, owned by Rami Makhlouf, the cousin of the Syrian president, be prevented.
But the estrangement between Tripoli and Benghazi prevented the implementation of the American request, and these flights, which increased in frequency, continued from the rate of one flight per month to two every week.
The newspaper quotes an independent military expert, saying that “the frequency of flights between Damascus and Benghazi reached at some times four flights every week, half of which are between Damascus and Benghazi, and the other half is between the Russian military base in Latakia and Benghazi.”
The newspaper pointed out that some media sources in Syria had revealed the presence of Russian soldiers trying to recruit some Syrian fighters from Ghouta on the outskirts of Damascus in order to go to fight in the Haftar camp. Simultaneously, there was a similar campaign in the Sweida area, which is the Druze stronghold, and the salaries offered amounted to $ 1500.
The newspaper warned that there is no concrete evidence currently to prove the presence of Syrian mercenaries supporting Haftar, but informed sources confirm at the same time the presence of these fighters who are transported from Latakia or Damascus to Haftar’s control areas, and they number approximately 300 or more.
The newspaper adds that another source familiar with the Libyan situation had made it clear that the arrival of these fighters was linked to the decision to withdraw Mercenaries, following the Moscow effort to mediate a ceasefire in Libya earlier this year.
This source says: “Since the beginning of these Russian efforts, we have seen the arrival of the Shabiha and fighters from Syria, in order to compensate the Russians in the south of the capital. Also, the forces of the Tripoli government had intercepted communications confirming this information.”
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