East-West tension is increasing between Haftar’s Libyan National Army and Serraj’s UN backed Presidency Council. The Libyan National Army has for weeks being indicating that it considered 17th December as a watershed date and that if no House of Representatives approved government were operating by then, it would move to save Libya.
Is the assassination of Mohamed Eshtewi, the moderate mayor of Libya’s third largest city, the start of this move? Although several groups will profit from his removal, it is likely that the assailants who dumped his body outside the Safwa Hospital in Misrata were local hard-liners, but what was their motive and are they linked to the LNA?
See Chapter 6 of Belfast to Benghazi for the background to the East-West tension and the pivotal role of Misrata and its neighbouring towns of Tawergha and Bani Walid in the revolution.