Warlord Khalifa Haftar has expressed no remorse for the deadly war he waged on civilians in Tripoli in April 2019, saying at a ceremony in Benghazi that the war was the right decision.
Haftar’s remarks came in his speech at the seventh anniversary of the so-called Operation Dignity in Benina, Benghazi, where he told a self-styled military parade that his “army only knows victory”, despite the fact that his militias lost their recent war on Tripoli and the western region and had to retreat back to their previous positions outside the region.
Haftar, who is heavily backed by Russia via the private military contractor Wagner Group, UAE and France as well as Egypt, said his “army moved to liberate the usurped capital”, referring to his war on Tripoli as a liberation, adding that he had ordered his “army to retreat to Sirte and Jufra from Tripoli and other western region parts back in 2020 to give a final chance for peace.”
“Our fingers are still on the trigger and we won’t hesitate to launch wars again,” Haftar boldly said, despite the fact that there are ongoing national reconciliation, unification and political processes that are reshaping Libya’s present under the auspices of the UN and international community.
In the meantime, Haftar’s remarks generated a reaction from the High Council of State, which issued a statement calling on the international community to let go of the “double standard policy” and stop covering up for warlord Khalifa Haftar, whom it described in a statement as “war criminal”.
So far, the interim Government of National Unity and the Presidential Council haven’t commented on the provocative statements made by Haftar and his militias’ commanders. Both the Prime Minister, Abdul-Hamid Dbeibah, and the Head of the Presidential Council, Mohammed Menfi, chose to escape Haftar’s parade by visiting Algeria and Tunisia respectively.