Skip to main content

Libya looks to Russia for arms

Disillusioned with the West, the Libya government is exploring opportunities in Russia and says it is willing to accept limited participation by Islamists that agree to play by the rules.
Members of Libyan pro-government forces, backed by locals, walk with weapons during clashes in the streets with the Shura Council of Libyan Revolutionaries, an alliance of former anti-Gaddafi rebels who have joined forces with Islamist group Ansar al-Sharia, in Benghazi April 1, 2015. Picture taken April 1. REUTERS/Stringer  - RTR4W1LK

Libyan Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni has confirmed the widely held belief among Libyans that Turkey and Qatar are the main supporters of the militias in control of Tripoli since August, after overrunning the capital in a bloody 40-day war, and opposed to his internationally recognized government. 

In an April 15 TV interview with RT's Arabic channel during his first visit to Moscow, Thinni said, “[C]ountries are trying to impose fanatical Islamic political views on the Libyan people.” He added, however, “Libyans do not want Islamists to dominate government,” but “welcome their participation” in the political process as long as they play by the rules. Thinni then went further, charging Qatar and Turkey with being the main weapons suppliers of the Islamist-backed militias running the Tripoli-based rebel government.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 for annual access.