In what appeared to be the last of the retreating allies, General Khalifa Haftar lost the support of the
regime of Egyptian General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, as the Egyptians looked forward to dealing with a new
commander for the forces that call themselves the Libyan National Army (LNA).
An Egyptian diplomatic source said that the al-Sisi regime may be rethinking its support for Haftar. The
source confirmed that communication between Cairo and the Libyan commander has considerably
The source told Egypt Watch that al-Sisi recently cancelled a scheduled meeting with Haftar, and
explained that al-Sisi and his senior men are extremely unhappy with the Tripoli offensive, which they
consider a complete military failure.
The Al-Sisi regime sees that Haftar’s campaign to seize the capital has failed, despite the continual
backing of allies for nine months.
Haftar forces were backed by Egypt, the UAE, Saudi Arabia and France. Even Washington turned a blind
eye to Haftar’s violations, as well as Rome.
During these nine months, Algeria, the Government of National Accord’s (GNA) ally, witnessed a
political vacuum that followed the resignation of longstanding Algerian president Abdelaziz Bouteflika,
which means it was not present in Libya.
Haftar did not take advantage of the political months-long vacuum in Algeria, despite the regular
backing of his allies, and the distraction of the allies of his rivals.
For nine months, Haftar tried to seize the capital without any tangible success.
Egypt’s al-Sisi considers withdrawing support from Libya’s Haftar
Unhappy with Khalifa Haftar’s failed Tripoli offensive, Egyptian authorities would gladly see the rogue
After nine months, Turkey and Algeria are preparing to lend a helping hand to the GNA, which makes
the situation more difficult.
The Al-Sisi regime sees that if the LNA achieved victory, it would have been much more difficult for
Turkey to intervene in Libya, but instead, the conflict is on the verge of dragging Egypt and Turkey into a
Turkey sent troops to Tripoli last month, to help GNA forces resist Haftar’s assault.
The source said that the al-Sisi regime holds Haftar responsible because the failed military offensive has
led to greater military instability, and made it impossible, given the current balance of power, for Haftar
to seize control of Tripoli.
Al-Sisi stresses that Haftar must assume responsibility for the failure and deteriorating situation in
Libya and the threat of regional war, and so he has to leave.
According to the source, al-Sisi’s senior men are looking to replace Haftar with another LNA commander
to start cooperating with him.
But the source confirms that this does not mean changing the strategy of the al-Sisi regime: “Al-Sisi will
not turn to support for the GNA for example [and] he will not support the establishment of a democratic
government in Libya, he only wants a more efficient and bloody general who is able to win the battle for
More than once, the al-Sisi regime was the one who held onto the survival of Haftar at the head of the
forces backed by Cairo, Abu Dhabi, and Riyadh alliances. For example, early on, Riyadh questioned
Haftar’s military capabilities, fed up with his failure, and began shrinking its support.
The UAE also wanted to see a politician it supports in Libya and nominated Aref Ali Nayed for that
But Cairo has always persuaded its allies to stick to Haftar and to keep the general at the front.
But Haftar’s main ally seemed to be tired of repeated failures, and was embarrassed to continue to
support Haftar, and wanted another general to take over.