U.S. does not condone, support Haftar actions in Libya

WASHINGTON Tue May 20, 2014 2:49pm EDT

General Khalifa Haftar speaks during a news conference at a sports club in Abyar, a small town to the east of Benghazi. May 17, 2014. REUTERS/Esam Omran Al-Fetori

General Khalifa Haftar speaks during a news conference at a sports club in Abyar, a small town to the east of Benghazi. May 17, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Esam Omran Al-Fetori

Related Topics

WASHINGTON (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.

"We have not had contact with him recently. We do not condone or support the actions on the ground, nor have we assisted with these actions," department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters at her daily briefing. "We are continuing to call on all parties to refrain from violence and to seek resolution through peaceful means."

Gunmen shelled Libya's General National Congress on Sunday in an attack claimed by forces loyal to renegade general Khalifa Haftar, who said it was part of a campaign to purge the North African country of Islamists.

Haftar's troops on Friday attacked Islamist militants in Benghazi, killing more than 70 people, in the worst clashes in the eastern city for months. Western powers fear Haftar's campaign will split the Libyan army, further destabilizing the country, after several units defected to him in recent days.

The struggle takes place against a background of growing chaos in Libya, where the government is unable to control dozens of militias who helped oust Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 but now defy state authority.

(Reporting by Arshad Mohammed; Editing by James Dalgleish and Gunna Dickson)

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
Comments (3)
BanglaFirst wrote:
Libyans must unite against this creep Haftar who is evil to the core. Libya has an elected Parliament and no power hungry thug must be allowed to derail democracy. So Libyan people, you have won your freedom by getting rid of Gaddafi and so do not allow this devil Haftar capture power like evil Sisi did in Egypt.

May 20, 2014 5:52pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
BanglaFirst wrote:
US took similar stance in Egypt and Egyptian realized too late that Sisi was all along US plan and I hope Libyans are not that stupid to be hoodwinked by this power hungry Haftar who could also be part of US plan. I hope Libyans fight off this brute and hold on to their freedom and democracy.

May 20, 2014 5:57pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
TrevorC wrote:
“U.S. does not condone, support Haftar actions in Libya”. Are we expected to believe anything that the U.S. says now? Seriously? The U.S. and their ability to state the truth have lost credibility years ago.

May 20, 2014 9:43pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

Full focus