Qatar backs military arm of Libya's official government



Thu, 02 Nov 2017 - 05:30 GMT


Thu, 02 Nov 2017 - 05:30 GMT

The spokesperson of al-Bunyan al-Marsous, Mohamed El Ghasry, and Qatari Defense Minister Khalid bin Mohammed al-Atiyya in Doha in August, 2017 – File Photo

The spokesperson of al-Bunyan al-Marsous, Mohamed El Ghasry, and Qatari Defense Minister Khalid bin Mohammed al-Atiyya in Doha in August, 2017 – File Photo

CAIRO – 2 November 2017: In 2016, a military operation called “al-Bunyan al-Marsous” was launched by the Government of National Accord (GNA) in Libya to liberate Sirte from the Islamic State (IS), backed by the United States. However, the operation was conducted by certain militias funded by Qatar.
A delegation of the al-Bunyan al-Marsous militia in a meeting with Qatari military officials in August, 2017 – File Photo

In August, the spokesperson of the GNA militias, Mohamed El Ghasry, announced that 500 militants will head to Doha to complete their studies. Among these, 200 would pursue masters and doctoral degrees, while the rest would receive a military education, according to Al Marsad news website.
El Ghasry and Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani in Doha – File Photo

His statements came amid a visit to Doha, along with Operations Room Chief Beshir El Kady and other leaders, where they handed Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani the "Gratitude and Appreciation Trophy Shield". They also met with Qatari Defense Minister Khalid bin Mohammed al-Atiyya.
Al Ghasry hands the Qatari emir the “Gratitude and Appreciation Trophy Shield” – File Photo

The words on the trophy shield express gratitude for Qatar by al-Bunyan al-Marsous forces – File Photo

As Al Marsad reported, Ghasry stated that his militias "would remain under the command of GNA as long as it is building a civil state without attempting to militarize it. Otherwise, a different action will be taken."

These militias, named after the al-Bunyan al-Marsous (Impenetrable Wall) operation, control three TV channels that have been propagating false news on the countries supporting the Libyan National Army (LNA). These channels are Al Tanasuh, Al Nabaa' and Al Rae'd.

This militia, among others, was formed after the assassination of Libyan President Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. The LNA has spotted Qatari jets carrying weapons landing in southern and western Libya for this militia.

On the other hand, Fox News reported in July that IS “is believed to be regrouping and recruiting in the rural regions south of the main east-to-west coastal highway and in the far-west town of Sabratha, which is poised just 60 miles from the Tunisian border.”

Journalist Robert Young Pelton, experienced in conflict reporting, told the channel that Sabratha was selected by the group to be its new center, as they receive many recruits from Tunisia.

LNA spokesperson Ahmed al-Mesmari announced earlier that the group has recently established camps around 25 miles east of the town of Bani Waleed, as well as south of Sirte. Both are located in western Libya. He added that the number of IS fighters in Libya is between 5,000 and 7,000 from different nationalities.

Mohamed El Qeneidy, a leader of the Qatar-backed organization, in an interview with Al Tanasuh channel, threatened to conduct a military operation in the Egyptian territories to avenge civilians killed in airstrikes on Monday, alleging that Egypt launched the attack, which was denied by the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

What's more, the LNA negated conducting these airstrikes in Derna, eastern Libya, identifying the incident as a "terror attack," according to Sky News Arabia.
Al-Bunyan al-Marsous is a coalition of multiple militias having close ties with the Muslim Brotherhood, such as the Libya Shield Force formed in 2012, Libya Revolutionaries Operations Room in Tripoli, and others originating from the towns of Misrata, Gharyan, Zawiya, Sabratha and Sirte.



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