Egypt regime 'sends military support to Libya's Haftar'
Egypt has sent military aircraft to eastern Libya to support the Libyan National Army (LNA) and its controversial leader General Khalifa Haftar, a source told The New Arab.
The planes carrying military equipment and weapons arrived at the al-Kharruba airbase in eastern Libya, according to the same source, who works closely with the military operation al-Bunyan al-Marsous.
Meanwhile, Egyptian military sources said that Egypt was not circumventing the international ban on exporting weapons to Libya, but rather offering support against "terrorist organisations" there and guarding its western borders to prevent terrorists from entering the country.
In June, private sources told The New Arab that Egyptian army officers arrived in Egypt to train Haftar's forces and contribute to military plans.
Haftar opposes the internationally recognised Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA), which launched operation al-Bunyan al-Marsous in May to retake Sirte from the Islamic State group.
In the space of three days in September, Haftar's forces seized control of Libya's "oil crescent", defeating a force of oil terminal guards who had announced allegiance to the GNA.
Days later, Egypt's Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry expressed support for Haftar's LNA.
"Egypt fully supports the Libyan army's moves to maintain security and stability of Libya and to secure its oil wealth," he told Egypt's state-owned Middle East News Agency at the time.
The LNA is composed mainly of former army officers from eastern Libya who defected at the outset of the 2011 revolt, including air force units and special forces.
Libya has descended into chaos since the 2011 revolt that overthrew long-time dictator Muammar Gaddafi, with rival authorities vying for control in the oil-rich country.
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