The Address | Benghazi – Libya
TRIPOLI – Libya Elwatan TV channel, which is based in Tunisia, has aired a distorted Arabic translation of a statement made by acting United States Secretary of Defense, Patrick M. Shanahan, regarding the U.S. support for Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, General Commander of the Libyan National Army (LNA).
Shanahan made his statement to reporters at the Pentagon a few days ago, which came after the White House revealed that U.S. President Donald Trump spoke with Field Marshal Haftar on the phone.
Libya Elwatan began its distortion of facts by introducing Shanahan as the U.S. Secretary of Defense; while in fact he is the acting Secretary of Defense. He was appointed to this role by Trump after the resignation of Retired General James N. Mattis. Trump still has not named a new Secretary of Defense since Mattis’ departure.
Libya Elwatan then claimed that Shanahan told reporters that the U.S. supports Field Marshal Haftar “in terms of Israel and counter-terrorism”, but Shanahan’s actual words were “in terms of his role in counter-terrorism”.
“What I do support is Field Marshal Haftar’s support in terms of his role in counter-terrorism,” Shanahan said.
All American and international media, including CNN, Bloomberg and France 24, reported Shanahan’s actual phrase: “in terms of his role in counter-terrorism”.
So far, Libya Elwatan has not retracted its distorted translation of Shanahan’s statement nor did it make any corrections.
Libya Elwatan is run by Mansour Obaid, a man close to businessman from Misurata name Ashraf ben Ismail. Ismail was accused by the 2017 United Nations Panel of Experts report of providing medical assistance to suspected terrorists in Benghazi including members of the designated terrorist group Ansar al-Sharia.