Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Qaddaf al Dam: Despite International Ban, Arms Make Way into Libya | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Ahmed Qaddaf al-Dam, cousin of Libya’s former president Muammar Gaddafi, poses for a photo at his apartment, in Cairo, Egypt, Wednesday, Feb. 25, 2015. (AP Photo/Mosa’ab Elshamy)

Cairo- Ahmed Qaddaf al Dam, prominent leader in the National Libyan Front Party and a high-up leader in the late Libyan Prime Minister Muammar Gaddafi’s administration, confirmed that the deteriorating state-of-affairs- in Libya is grave.

Al Dam was also Gaddafi’s cousin and former intelligence top ranked official.

He explained that the worsening situation and the fierce clashes prove the flow of arms into the country.

Exploiting all opportune routes, weapons are being trafficked into Libya by land, air or sea, with the world baring witness, despite the imposed international ban.

Al Dam told Asharq Al Awsat newspaper that Arab and foreigner militants and thousands of hired fighters from Asia or Africa are working hand in hand with militias that spread fear across the country.

He carried on saying that the country has been muddled. As when speaking on the authoritative hierarchy, al Dam said “two governments and a parliament exist in Tripoli, one other government and a parliament are present in the east, not to mention the self-imposed and scattered ISIS and militia turfs.”

Al Dam revealed that thousands of militants, who were active back when Gaddafi was Prime Minister, have joined the national army led by Khalifa Haftar.

Haftar is a Libyan general and the principal commander to one side in the ongoing Libyan Civil War of 2014. On March 2, 2015, he was appointed commander of the armed forces loyal to the elected and internationally-backed government, the Council of Deputies.

He added that masses joining the command of Haftar do not intended to defend a former regime but rather preserve Libya a whole country.

Al Dam also spoke of meetings being held with other Libyan parties, whom he called “yesterday’s rivals.”

“Discussions between our leaderships are taking place,” he said.

Speaking on Sirte, a city which lies halfway between Tripoli and Benghazi, Al Dam said “the city was completely destroyed by the NATO missiles in 2011. Air campaigns and four naval fleets had poured their rage over the city. It was the last city to fall in the war waged against Libya.

“Sirte’s youth had either died fighting with Muammar Gaddafi or have fled the country. Thus, the likes of ISIS have found a safe haven in Sirte,“ he added.

Birthplace of Muammar Gaddafi, Sirte was favored by the Gaddafi government. The city was the final major stronghold of Gaddafi loyalists in the Libyan Civil War. It is also known that Gaddafi was killed in Sirte on 20 October 2011. During the battle, Sirte was left almost completely in ruins, with many buildings leveled down to rubble or severely damaged.