Why did the Presidential Council and its government rush to board a military airplane to Tunisia and settle there? It was circulated on the streets that the Americans urged Prime Minister Fayez Al-Sarraj to leave Tripoli to avoid imminent danger threatening him and his government.

Why did the Presidential Council and its government rush to board a military airplane to Tunisia and settle there? It was circulated on the streets that the Americans urged Prime Minister Fayez Al-Sarraj to leave Tripoli to avoid imminent danger threatening him and his government.

Then, after the Libyan intelligence buildings were attacked and controlled by the militia of war lord Haitham Al-Tajouri, head of the Intelligence Mustafa Nouh (member of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group) appeared in front of the public to say that his apparatus had uncovered a terrorist plan to attack the government building and assassinate the head of the Presidential Council.

So the members of the Presidential Council and its government moved to a health resort in Tunisia, leaving Tripoli to sink in the dark. The Presidential Council left Libya in times where the Libyan Dinar is on the brink of falling from the five Dinar per USD edge, while those who live on salaries from the failed state are left to “wait for liquid money.”

The land of heat

Soon after, the Parliament in Tobruk managed to hold a sufficiently attended session and decided to deny trust to the national unity government proposed by the Presidential council, and gave the council a last chance to propose a new formation. However, assuming that the new government was granted parliamentary trust, would this government succeed in getting Libya out of its political and economic and security crisis? Would this government act safely from Tripoli? Reality in Libya does not support these hopes.

Libya is now the country of small wars. Today in Tripoli, the city abandoned by the Presidential Council and its government, there are two conflicting militias. On one side, we have the salafist militia lead by the cleric Abdulraouf Kara, the ally of Haitham Al-Tajouri and Abdulghani Eghnewa, and on the other side, we have the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group and its salafist and jihadist allies in many small cities around Tripoli.

In other parts of the country, for competitive or for tribal and other forms of interests, war lords are constantly waging small wars that at times soar and at other times subside, but they do not end.

Small wars have started between the militias of Al-Zentan and Musrata, Al-Zentan and Kukla, Al-Zentan and Al-Mashashia, Wrashfana and Al-Zawia, and also between Al-Zwaia tribe and Al-Tabo ethnicity in Al-Kufra and between Al-Tabo and Al-Tawareq in Obar. All of these small wars are part of the struggle for power between the remains of the Gaddafi military institution led by General Haftar and supported by civilian fighters on one side and Islamic militias that control the capital in alliance with Misrata militia, the strongest in western Libya.

Despite all these odds, Mr. Kopler is still counting on the Presidential Council since it is supported by the US government, although the Council has become in itself more of a political problem than a solution. Moreover, an objective reading of the current events shows that the Al-Sokhairat agreement shall not hold for long, and probably, an alternative has to be negotiated in light of the results of the small wars after the battle for the city of Sirte is over.

In Tripoli, a popular uprising could break at any moment against the catastrophic economic situation. At any moment in Tripoli, an armed fight could break out between the special deterrence forces led by the salafist cleric Abdulraouf Kara and extremist militias loyal to the Mufti Assadeq Al-Gheriani. In case such turmoil took place, forces loyal to General Haftar in Al-Zentan, Al-Rajban and Wrashfana may creep into the capital.

Misrata leaders have announced that the forces of the Al-Bunyan A-Marsous operation will remain in the city after it is liberated from ISIS, and that these forces will create a civilian administration in the city loyal to their military leadership. In case these plans succeed, this will be a recipe for armed clashes in city, since the people of Sirte will not tolerate armed men from Misrata in their city, because of the great enmity they hold against the people of Misrata in the aftermath of 17 February 2011. Moreover, the forces of General Haftar south of the city will not stand idly by, especially since these forces have in their ranks numerous tribal fighters from the Sirte gulf area. Above all, the ISIS fighters will definitely continue their suicidal war through small sleeping cells.

If the Misrata militia does not leave Sirte’s security and civil administration to its people, a new small war will break out between the forces of the Al-Bunyan A-Marsous operation and the forces of Operation Dignity. This war will probably produce another side war over the oil rich crescent near Sirte, unless the war lord Ibraheem Al-Jadran changes allegiance from the Presidential Council in Tripoli to the Parliament in Tobruk. However, Al-Jadran is known for changing allegiance to whoever pays the salaries of his fighters and keeps him in his position.

The military scale in the Sirte area seems to be on the side of Operation Dignity. The tribes of the Sirte Gulf area hold great disdain for the Misrata militia, and the tribes of Burka –in whose land the oil crescent lays- consider any military forces from the west to be invading forces. These factors imply that the Al-Bunyan Al-Marsous operation forces are destined to be defeated, unless the United States intervenes militarily against General Haftar, since it views the General as an ally to Russia.

In the face of this chaos, a question arises: Is there a solution to be found to rid the country of further bloody conflicts? The answer is yes, but only if General Haftar and the regular military leaders from Misrata (and not militia war lords) can agree upon a national political and military project that includes the whole country and provides security for west, east and south. However, such an agreement is merely a stretch of the imagination, since the Misrata militias are in fundamental enmity with Haftar and his mission.

Therefore, it is most probable that these small wars will continue to gain ground until they all melt inti one major conflict in which the differences will be clear. This war will take place between two clearly defined political projects: one is the project of an Islamic State in which theocracy will dominate the political life, and the other calls for a civil state under a democratic constitution based on the Tunisian model.