Inside Story

Will setback to Khalifa Haftar change the course of Libya’s war?

Renegade military commander loses control of important airbase near capital Tripoli.

Khalifa Haftar told the world he is the only man who can bring stability back to Libya.

The renegade military commander launched a military offensive last year to take control of the capital from the UN-recognised government in Tripoli.

But his forces have suffered a series of setbacks in the past month.

In the latest, Haftar’s forces lost control of the headquarters of his offensive: the al-Watiya airbase southwest of Tripoli.

Troops backing the government in Tripoli say they have destroyed weapons provided by Russia and the United Arab Emirates.

While Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj hailed the victory, he warned the battle is far from over. Haftar’s spokesman downplayed the loss.

How will this shape the course of Libya’s civil war, now in its seventh year?

Presenter: Bernard Smith


Peter Millett – Former British ambassador to Libya

Mansour El-Kikhia – Professor of politics at the University of Texas in San Antonio

Jason Pack – Founder of Libya-Analysis, a Libyan affairs think-tank