Libya's Khalifa Haftar's oil dealings draw US, UN scrutiny: WSJ

The probe comes as the renegade military commander pursues international oil deals to help fund his siege of Tripoli.

    Fighters loyal to Libya's internationally recognised government are seen after regaining control over the city, in Tripoli, Libya [Ayman al-Sahili/Reuters]
    Fighters loyal to Libya's internationally recognised government are seen after regaining control over the city, in Tripoli, Libya [Ayman al-Sahili/Reuters]

    The United States and other world powers are trying to determine if Libyan renegade military commander Khalifa Haftar tried to raise funds through oil dealings with Emirati brokers and Venezuela, the Wall Street Journal reports, citing US, European and Libyan officials

    According to the Journal's interview with unnamed officials, the United Nations and the official Libyan government are also probing a Dubai-based ship charterer for possibly helping Haftar market fuel in the Mediterranean.

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    The US is also looking into a trip Haftar might have made to Caracas, Venezuela's capital. Officials reportedly told the WSJ, Haftar was in South America to broker oil and fuel deals.

    Data from Flight Radar24 shows the general's private jet was in Caracas as recently as April 24.

    Venezuela is struggling to sell its crude oil and import petrol and other petroleum products the country needs. Further complicating matters, the US has imposed economic sanctions on the Latin American nation.

    "The Haftar probes are part of a wider international campaign aimed at halting the militia leader's oil sales, which he is hoping to turn into a key source of funding for his 14-month insurgent assault on Libya's capital city of Tripoli," the Journal reports.

    Haftar's faction, the Libyan National Army, did not return the WSJ's request for comment.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and news agencies