Armed groups took control of several ministries in Libya's capital of Tripoli, Al Arabiya reported Jan. 12. Groups linked to the General National Congress are reportedly responsible for the actions, which targeted the ministries of Defense, Justice and Economy. With three rival governments and the country's internationally recognized leadership, the Government of National Accord, losing ground, Libya is a country divided.
The situation in Libya is certainly chaotic and confusing, but the attempted coup did not succeed; the armed groups have taken advantage of some factors: the absence of Serraj, traveling to Cairo to search for support, the meeting, in Tobruk, between General Khalifa Haftar and the Russian Military Chief of Staff Valery Gerasimov.
Armed groups would be linked to Ghwell Khalifa, the former prime minister of the dissolved Islamist Libyan government of national salvation and leader last October of a failed coup against the Government of National Accord of Tripoli.
In Tripoli, there are many armed factions, some linked to Sarraj, while others hostile to the Government of National Accord. In this context cannot be excluded that the armed groups in question may also be close to the authorities of Cyrenaica, that is, the forces of General Khalifa Haftar sworn enemy of the Muslim Brotherhood and Islamist groups inspired by the Brotherhood. From this chaos could benefit the general Khalifa Haftar, with troops located also in the south of Tripoli. The men of Ghwell may have also acted to prevent any political compromise between the General Haftar and the Tripoli government, recognized by the United Nations and close ally of Italy.
Local media report that Islamic militias, close to the General Haftar, oppose the presence of Italian military (Special Forces and soldiers of the Folgore Brigade to protect a field hospital) on Libyan soil; meantime, it must be said that the Russian role in support of Haftar in Libya is getting stronger. It seems that there are negotiations for a permanent presence of the Russian Navy in Cyrenaica, to increase the influence of Moscow in the country after the removal of Gaddafi.
Officially, the Russian presence is linked to non-well clear measures for the fight against international terrorism; this has been discussed among Haftar and the Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu during a video conference on the Kuznetsov aircraft carrier returning from Syria.
The joint final statement said: After a brief tour of the ship, Marshal Khalifa Haftar held a video conference with Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu to discuss urgent issues of the fight against international terrorist groups in the Middle East.
The Sarraj government becomes weaker and weaker; the Trump presidency does not consider Libya a priority and the situation could worsen in 2017, particularly for countries facing the Mediterranean, Italy first.