(Author: Libyan Gazette Editorial Staff)
The Libyan pro-Haftar parliament, known as the House of Representatives (HoR), is denouncing US airstrikes in Sirte.
The HoR, who are rivals to the UN-backed unity government in Tripoli (GNA), consider the US forces to have breached Libyan air space without prior coordination with the eastern parliament.
Despite the fact the eastern parliament has not been backed by the UN and does not have the international support that was given to the GNA, it has called on the US ambassador to Libya to clarify what they see as a violation of Libya’s airspace.
Prime Minister Fayaz Al-Sarraj of the UN-backed unity government said that his government made a request to the US to support its forces fighting against ISIS in Sirte. The Pentagon’s press secretary Peter Cook confirmed that US forces were working in coordination with GNA-loyal forces. Fayaz also stated that no US soldiers would be fighting on the ground in Libya.
Last month, protests broke out in Tripoli denouncing France’s involvement with Haftar’s government. The GNA spoke against the involvement of French forces with Haftar and called on the French ambassador to Libya to explain what Al-Sarraj called a violation of Libya’s sovereignty.
France had been working with Haftar’s forces despite the UN threatening Haftar with sanctions and an arms embargo. Yet the eastern parliament had no issues with the French troops in eastern Libya but is finding US airstrikes against ISIS in Sirte to be a breach of Libyan airspace.
Tension will continue to rise between the two rival parliaments unless both governments work together and negotiate any foreign intervention they seek. However, Haftar has refused to allow the HoR to give its support and vote of confidence to the GNA, making it difficult for both governments to work together. The UN has called on Haftar to work with the GNA, however, Haftar continues to ignore the UN and act on his own accord.