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Libyan parliament appoints Gen. Haftar as Commander-in-Chief

Libyan parliament appoints Gen. Haftar as Commander-in-Chief

Libyan parliament appoints Gen. Haftar as Commander-in-Chief

TRIPOLI: Former Libyan general Khalifa Haftar was appointed on Monday as Commander-in-Chief of Libya Armed Forces by the Libyan parliament.

“The House of Representatives has appointed General Khalifa Belqasem Haftar as top military commander,” deputy head of the defense committee Tarek Saqer Juroushi said at the parliament.

Juroushi added Haftar had been promoted to lieutenant general, adding that he would be sworn in on Tuesday or Wednesday.

The internationally backed legislature created the post of army chief under a new law passed last week.

Last May, Haftar launched an offensive against Islamists in the country’s east, prompting the then-government to accuse him of trying to stage a coup.

But after various Islamists groups seized the capital following elections in June forcing the parliament to change its seat to the country’s far east, the internationally recognized authorities have gradually allied themselves with him.

Last month, they formally requested that he and 129 other retired officers return to active service.

Since the 2011 overthrow of Libyan President Moamar Qadhafi in a NATO-backed uprising, Libya has been awash with weapons while opposing militias are battling for control of its cities and oil wealth.

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