UN-Backed Libyan PM Meets With Trump in Riyadh

libya serraj

Amongst the flurry of videos released this week depicting the Brak attack and other violent acts, one piece of footage emerged on 20 May containing references to the Islamic State (ISIS). The video was released by the Libyan National Army (LNA) after they obtained the footage from the phone of a captured Palestinian man, who was reportedly amongst the attacking Benghazi Defence Brigades (BDB) force. The yet-to-be named Palestinian was captured by local forces allied with the LNA’s 12th brigade in the ‘al-Fat “checkpoint 60km south of al-Shuwerif.

The two-part video depicts one section that shows the execution of LNA soldiers on the side of the road, and the other that shows the captured Palestinian man, along with the other occupants of the vehicle, chanting the ISIS song, ‘Qariban Qariba’. The song was produced by ISIS’s media arm Ajnad and was known to be sung by Yemeni ISIS fighter Ghaleb Ahmed Baqaiti aka Abu Hajer al-Hadrami from Hadramout. Al-Hadrami was killed in a US drone strike in July 2015.

Interestingly, the driver of the vehicle has been identified as Ali al-Adloi. Al-Adoli is believed to be shouting ‘Kill them, kill them, these are your mercenaries Haftar’ in the video as the LNA fighters were executed. Al-Adoli is from Benghazi and a member of Ansar al-Sharia. He is suspected of being involved in several assassinations in Benghazi and is also implicated in an infamous and disturbing rape video in Tripoli, in which he appeared. His elder brother Faraj al-Adoli is a senior leader of ISIS in Benghazi and was killed fighting the LNA in Sabri sometime in 2016.

Press reports indicate that on 21 May, Government of National Accord (GNA) prime minister Fayez al-Serraj met briefly with US President Donald Trump in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia during the American Islamic States Summit. Although arranging the meeting was allegedly quite difficult due to Trump’s reluctance to engage in the conflict in Libya, the GNA’s media office reports that Trump reaffirmed US support for Libya’s fight against terrorism and ISIS in the meeting.

In response to the Brak attack, the Ambassadors to Libya of the People’s Republic of China, France, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States of America issued a joint statement condemning the use of violence as a means to change the situation on the ground, as well as expressing concern at the reports of criminal acts such as ‘massacre’ style executions of combatants and civilians and urged all parties to exercise restraint and peaceful methods to resolve conflict.

Outraged by the level of violence, UN Special Envoy to Libya Martin Kobler warned that summary executions and targeting civilians constitutes a war crime, liable for prosecuted by the International Criminal court (ICC). He encouraged all parties to condemn this attack and to try and move forward with peaceful political solutions.

Libya-Analysis is the most read independent English-language blog on Libyan affairs. It is run by Jason Pack, founder of EyeOnISISinLibya.com and researcher of World History at Cambridge University

This article was used with explicit permission from the author.