Haftar boasted of a major offensive to liberate Benghazi. This apparently led to some townspeople fleeing Benghazi in anticipation of heavy fighting that has not materialized. This demonstrates that since the loss of the Saiqa base in downtown Benghazi, Haftar’s capabilities have been severely impaired.
Both the HoR and the GNC have continued in their efforts to acquire international support and recognition. The HoR is particularly needy in this respect given its enduring weakness on the ground in Libya. The House is still relying heavily on Egypt, doing its utmost to strengthen ties with and secure backing from Cairo.
This week also saw Prime Minister Abdullah Al-Thinni make a visit to the United Arab Emirates in a bid to drum up support there. This trip did not go down well with Libya’s Islamist current, which continues to accuse both Egypt and the UAE of being behind the recent airstrikes against Operation Libya Dawn forces in Tripoli. In fact, Thinni has re-iterated the claim that the Misratan-led Alliance are terrorists. This provocative formulation is likely to backfire as it increasingly polarizes the debate inside Libya.
The GNC head, Nuri Abu Sahmain, has retaliated by reportedly preparing to visit Qatar, which is currently at loggerheads with the UAE in Libya, Syria, and elsewhere. This comes after Abu Sahmain’s recent trips to Sudan, Chad and Algeria. However, aside from Sudan and Qatar, Abu Sahmain is unlikely to win much concrete support outside of Libya given that the Congress is officially defunct and came back into existence by the barrel of the gun rather than the ballot box.