Libya's renegade general appointed army chief
Libya's renegade general Khalifa Haftar has been appointed as head of the Libyan national army, a lawmaker at the internationally recognised parliament said on Monday.
Benghazi: Libya's renegade general Khalifa Haftar has been appointed as head of the Libyan national army, a lawmaker at the internationally recognised parliament said on Monday.
Parliament Speaker Aqila Issa promoted Haftar and named him as the supreme commander of the Armed Forces, Xinhua news agency reported citing lawmaker Tarik al-Geroushi.
Libyan media reported that Hafter has taken the post of the army chief of staff or the general commander, but there was no official confirmation except from the House of Representatives.
Haftar, who played a major role in toppling former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, has been waging a war on Libya's Islamist armed groups since last May.
His secular-leaning militias, now incorporated into the Libyan national army, are seen as the backbones of Libya's internationally recognised government and parliament, now operating in Tobruk, a port city in northeast Libya.
In the eastern part of the country, Hafter has amassed popular support by battling "terrorists" and extremist groups. In the west, his fighters are confronting the local Islamist alliance Libya Dawn, which occupied the capital city of Tripoli and established a rival government and parliament.
Libya has witnessed a drastic escalation of violence after the 2011 turmoil which toppled Muammar Gaddafi. The Islamist militants and pro-secular militia have been vying for cities and towns for months, and fighting still continues near Tripoli, Benghazi and Gharyan.