Libya's government accused an "outlaw" retired general and his irregular forces Saturday of trying to carry out a coup as they fight to crush Islamist militants in the restive eastern city of Benghazi.
Khalifa Haftar, who lead ground forces in the 2011 uprising that toppled Moamer Kadhafi, used warplanes and helicopters Friday to support an offensive in pitched battles that killed 37 people.
Reacting to his vow to continue fighting until Benghazi is "purged of terrorists," the army announced a no-fly zone over the port city and suburbs, vowing to shoot down any aircraft that defies the ban.
The government, parliament and army charged that Haftar's operation was tantamount to a coup against the central authorities.
It is "an action outside state legitimacy and a coup d'etat," said a joint statement read on state television by Nuri Abu Sahmein, the head of the General National Congress.
Via RealClear. More at link. http://www.realclear.com/world/2014/05/17/libya_accuses_rogue_general_of_leading_coup_in_benghazi_7040.html
Of particular interest is this little gem buried at the bottom of the article:
Haftar defected from Kadhafi's forces in the late 1980s and spent nearly 20 years in the United States before returning home to join the uprising. He has been accused of being in the pay of the Americans.