Macron flanked by Sarraj and Haftar in July 2017. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer/File Photo
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When Khalifa Haftar flew to Tunis in September, the veteran commander and possible future leader of Libya brought masked troops armed with automatic rifles and grenade launchers in a show of force that drew censure from U.N. experts.Haftar casts himself as capable of bringing stability to Libya after years of conflict, ridding the OPEC member of Islamist militants and reining in migrant smuggling to Europe.Haftar seems to be hedging his bets.Mohamed Buisier, a U.S.-based engineer who served as an adviser to Haftar from 2014-16 before falling out with him, said Haftar wanted absolute power.Haftar's office said he did not have time for an immediate interview.'ARC OF HISTORY'Among the officers who supported Gadhafi when he seized power from King Idris in 1969, Haftar was disowned by Gadhafi after he was captured leading Libyan forces in Chad in 1987 .An internationally recognized Parliament relocated to eastern Libya and appointed Haftar army chief in 2015, but it was not until early 2016, amid reports of support from foreign states including Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, that Haftar started gaining the upper hand in his Benghazi campaign.Foreign support for Haftar has also wavered, Western diplomats say.
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