Reports: Libya’s Haftar Meets US Officials in Cairo

Forces loyal to Libyan National Army commander Khalifa Haftar. (AFP)
Forces loyal to Libyan National Army commander Khalifa Haftar. (AFP)
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Reports: Libya’s Haftar Meets US Officials in Cairo

Forces loyal to Libyan National Army commander Khalifa Haftar. (AFP)
Forces loyal to Libyan National Army commander Khalifa Haftar. (AFP)

Libyan National Army (LNA) commander Khalifa Haftar had held talks with officials from the American administration during his visit to Cairo last week, an informed source revealed.

The American delegation included officials from the Defense and State Departments, as well as members of the United States Africa Command (AFRICOM), the source told Asharq Al-Awsat on condition of anonymity.

The AFRICOM spokesman did not reply to Asharq Al-Awsat when asked to comment about the reports. He instead said that questions should be posed to the State Department.

An official from the State Department told Asharq Al-Awsat that American government officials were in contact with several Libyan leaders, as well as international partners, in order to achieve stability and return Haftar and head of the Government of National Accord (GNA), Fayez al-Sarraj, to the negotiations table.

The ongoing fighting is endangering the lives of innocent civilians, destroying the civilian infrastructure and undermining American counter-terrorism efforts in Libya, he added.

Permanent peace and stability can only be achieved in Libya through a political solution, he said on condition of anonymity.

He called on all parties to immediately return to the UN mediation.

Haftar had in April held telephone talks with US President Donald Trump and his National Security Adviser John Bolton in what was seen as a shift in American policy from Sarraj to the LNA chief.

Haftar is expected to soon embark on a European tour that will see him make stops in France and Italy.

Sarraj had last week made similar visits in an attempt to garner support to the GNA and pressure the LNA to stop its march on Tripoli where his government is based.

On April 4, Haftar had launched an operation to liberate the capital from terrorist and criminal gangs.

On the ground, the LNA announced that it had captured the al-Zahra, al-Tweisha and Azizia areas in southern Tripoli.

The developments took place as LNA jets continued to pound the al-Sawani district in Tripoli amid the steady advance of land units.

The LNA has now set its sights on advancing on the heart of the capital “to target the militias of the terrorist criminal Ghaniwa al-Kakali, who will collapse very soon.”



Israel Carries Out New Raids in Gaza as Netanyahu Visits US 

This picture taken in Khan Younis shows smoke billowing during Israeli military operations in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, on July 24, 2024, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas. (AFP)
This picture taken in Khan Younis shows smoke billowing during Israeli military operations in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, on July 24, 2024, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas. (AFP)
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Israel Carries Out New Raids in Gaza as Netanyahu Visits US 

This picture taken in Khan Younis shows smoke billowing during Israeli military operations in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, on July 24, 2024, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas. (AFP)
This picture taken in Khan Younis shows smoke billowing during Israeli military operations in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, on July 24, 2024, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas. (AFP)

Israeli forces carried out new raids in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday, hours before Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was due to address the US Congress.

The latest Israeli attacks destroyed homes in towns east of Khan Younis in southern Gaza and thousands of people were forced to head west to seek shelter, residents said.

The Palestinian Civil Emergency Service said it had received distress calls from residents trapped in their homes in Bani Suhaila, east of Khan Younis, but were unable to reach the town.

Israel's military, which is trying to eradicate the armed group Hamas after the Oct. 7 attack on Israel, said it had been operating in areas from which fighters had been able to fire rockets into Israel and attack Israeli troops.

Gaza health officials said Israeli military strikes in the past 24 hours had killed at least 55 people, the latest casualties in a war that health authorities in the enclave say has killed more than 39,000 Palestinians.

"Where should we go? Shall we cross into the sea?" said Ghada, who has been displaced with her family six times during the war, said from Hamas City in northwestern Khan Younis.

"We are exhausted, starved, and want the war to end now, now not an hour later. Every day means more families are wiped off the registration book," she told Reuters via a chat app.

Local residents said they had been ordered to head west towards a designated humanitarian area, but that the area was now unsafe.

Israeli forces also carried out airstrikes on several areas of central and northern Gaza Strip, killing and wounding several Palestinians, health officials said.

Residents of Rafah, near the border with Egypt, said Israeli forces had blown up several houses in the west of the city.

PALESTINIANS CRITICISE U.S.

Hamas-led fighters triggered the war on Oct. 7 by storming into southern Israel, killing 1,200 people and taking 250 captives, according to Israeli tallies. Some 120 hostages are still being held though Israel believes one in three are dead.

Some Palestinians who gathered at a hospital in Khan Younis before funerals criticized the United States, Israel's most important international ally, for welcoming Netanyahu.

The Israel leader was due to address Congress later on Wednesday and to meet President Joe Biden at the White House on Thursday. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said he would meet Netanyahu in Florida on Friday.

"The United States is a main partner in what is happening in Gaza. We are being killed because of the United States. We are being slaughtered by American planes, American ships, American tanks, and American troops," said Kazem Abu Taha, a displaced resident from Rafah.

A senior Hamas official, Sami Abu Zuhri, told Reuters: "The Congress invitation to Netanyahu to make a speech gives legitimacy to the crimes of the war of genocide in Gaza. Receiving a war criminal is a shame to all Americans."

Israel has rejected accusations brought by South Africa at the UN's top court that its military operation in Gaza is a state-led genocide campaign against Palestinians. It has reacted angrily to a decision by the International Criminal Court's prosecutor to seek an arrest warrant against Netanyahu.

Netanyahu said this week a deal to release Israelis held captive in Gaza could be near. But Hamas officials said Netanyahu was stalling and that they had not seen any change in the Israeli stance that would allow an agreement to be reached.

Hamas wants a ceasefire agreement to end the war in Gaza. Netanyahu says the war cannot end before Hamas is eradicated.