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In early April, Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, one of the most powerful leaders in conflict-divided Libya, was treated for an unspecified ailment at a military hospital near Paris.However, Libya's army, which Gadhafi had deliberately weakened for decades, requires a vast, painstaking overhaul and a willingness to compromise that Haftar does not possess.During the preceding months, militias unwilling to pledge allegiance to Haftar and aligned with the Government of National Accord had succeeded in expelling Islamist and other hard-line figures from strategic territories in northwestern Libya, such as Tripoli's downtown area.During Haftar's absence, militia leaders from northwest Libya – including Abdel-Raouf Kara of Tripoli's Special Deterrence Force and Haithem al-Tajouri of the Tripoli Revolutionaries Brigade, the city's largest militia – were invited to Riyadh and other foreign capitals.Haftar's maneuvering notwithstanding, it will be difficult for him to avoid becoming universally perceived as a military commander who struggles to hold the East, let alone enter northwestern Libya.
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