In a scene that has become known to everyone who has brains with the aims to create a media hype to paint a kind of propaganda to possess power and influence used by everyone who loses battles on the ground – Khalifa Haftar visited the militia of Tariq bin Ziyad, “Al-Madkhaliya”.
Haftar’s visit to one of his largest alleged army brigades, which belongs to the Saudi-backed Madakhala, makes his talk about combating terrorism and ISIS unacceptable, mainly because he relies on brigades with a strict ideology accused of crimes against humanity.
The “Madkhaliya” armed militias started since 2014 to join the so-called army of Haftar, and the “Tariq bin Ziyad Brigade” dominated by the Madakhala represented an important number in the so-called army of Haftar, and this battalion participated in the battles of Haftar’s capture of the south as well as the aggression against Tripoli.
This battalion has special support for weapons, ammunition, and vehicles; For its full loyalty to Haftar and his sons, especially the so-called Saddam Haftar, who was accused of murder and robbery of a private bank in Tripoli in 2012
Many of the “Madkhaliya” Salafi brigades constitute the largest weight in Haftar militias, including the Salafi Alwadi battalion coming from Sabrata west of Tripoli, the 210 Salafi battalion, the Sabil Al-Salam battalion in Kufra that secures the Libyan border with Sudan, and the 604th battalion that facilitated Haftar’s mission to seize Sirte city.
In June 2017, the United Nations Committee of Experts on Libya accused members of the “Tawhid Brigade” that was established in Benghazi in the early stages of the Alkarama process, and another group led by “Ashraf Al-Mayyar” known as the Salafiya Brigade – with beatings and torture taking place in a “special section” From Qurnada prison in Shehat.
Mahmoud al-Warfalli, the chief of executions wanted by the International Criminal Court, and Qajah al-Fakhiri, the first accused of the Al-Abyar massacre that killed 34 civilians in October 2018, are among the most prominent Salafist leaderships affiliated with Haftar.
The Financial Times said that in the war he was aiming to control Tripoli, Khalifa Haftar relied on “Salafi” fighters with Saudi support.
The British newspaper reported that Haftar , who presents himself as a fierce opponent of the Islamists, is actually relying in his army on the Salafi brigades backed by Saudi Arabia.
The American Wall Street Journal, for its part, also reported that Saudi Arabia provided millions of dollars in aid to Haftar to carry out his attack on the capital, Tripoli, on April 4 last year.
The newspaper reported that Haftar’s visit to Saudi Arabia in March last year during which he met King Salman bin Abdulaziz and his Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman – it was for this purpose.
Fatwas inciting violence
Saudi support for Haftar was not limited to money, but was preceded by another kind of support. The founder of the movement, “Rabee Al-Madkhali”, has issued a number of fatwas related to the Libyan situation from Saudi Arabia throughout 2015.
Most of these fatwas focused on fighting ideological enemies of his idea, as al-Madkhali clearly called on all Salafis to fight with Haftar and support him; Because “he will apply God’s law” with the description of “Khawarij” attached to everyone who stands against Haftar and his project supported by the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.
In early 2017, Osama Al-Otaibi, a Saudi Madkhali elder from Rabee’s students, visited Libya at the invitation of the so-called “General Command” and delivered speeches and lessons to rally support for Haftar.
Control of mosques
In the same context, followers of the “Madkhali” movement in Libya dominated the offices of the General Authority of Endowments and Religious Affairs located within the control areas of Haftar in the east and south, and also extended their control over what is known as the Supreme Committee for Fatwa of the authority in the eastern region.
This fatwa committee that has issued several fatwas related to the fighting in Libya, and urged people to fight with Haftar militias against internationally recognized legitimate government forces they describe as “Khawarij,” as this committee explicitly requested what is known as “the General Command and its chief of staff to allow the soldiers Lengthening their beards, which was previously prohibited in the Libyan army.