Brigadier-General Ibrahim Beit Al-Mal of the Army of the Libyan Government of National Accord said in a June 21, 2020 interview on Al-Jazeera Network (Qatar) that Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi's recent declaration that he is willing to intervene militarily in Libya if GNA forces cross the Sirte-Jufra line (see MEMRI TV Clip No. 8088) is an indication that he is a crazy and unstable man. He criticized Al-Sisi for overthrowing Egypt's elected President, and he emphasized that the Libyan government rejects Al-Sisi's statements and is willing to respond to any aggression with full force. Brigadier Beit Al-Mal said that Al-Sisi is unable to intervene in Sirte and Jufra and that his declaration had been for the purpose of winning over the Egyptian public. Later in the interview, Brigadier Beit Al-Mal said that the Government of National Accord has been yet unable to liberate Sirte and Jufra because Khalifa Haftar's forces enjoy support from Russia and the UAE and have UAVs and air defense systems in eastern Libya. He added, however, that the Government of National Accord may be planning a secret military operation to advance in Sirta and Jufra, and that it is cooperating with Turkey and changing the methods of its air and ground forces.
Ibrahim Beit Al-Mal: "Al-Sisi's statements only serve to show that he is crazy. He speaks irresponsibly. He overthrew the legitimate [government in Egypt]. He was an officer who was subordinate to the Egyptian president and he turned against the president that was elected by the Egyptian people. No more [evidence] is needed. As for his statements..."
Interviewer: "Before you continue, I would like to express my reservations about the word 'crazy.' please continue."
Beit Al-Mal: "Excuse me?"
Interviewer: "I was just expressing my reservations about the word 'crazy.' It seems inappropriate, especially as we do not have anyone here representing the opposite side, someone to counter what you said about the Egyptian president. Please continue, brigadier-general."
Beit Al-Mal: "This is freedom of expression. I was the one who said that he is crazy. He is unstable. I am responsible for what I say. The 'red lines' and the 'zero hour' that are being bandied about a lot lately are nothing but drivel. As Libyans, we reject this talk, and we will respond with all our force. We are strong, and we have the military arsenal to repel any aggression."
Interviewer: "Do you think that if you enter Sirte or Jufra, Al-Sisi will carry out what he said yesterday, and he would militarily intervene in Libya, and that you will suddenly find yourselves facing the Egyptian army in the near future?"
Beit Al-Mal: "He is unable to enter Sirte, he is all talk. It is meant to win over the Egyptian public, or it is propaganda that is meant to get him re-elected, or to gain more influence or popularity. He cannot do anything, this Al-Sisi."
Interviewer: "As the commander of the operation to liberate Sirte and Jufra, what has prevented you from liberating Sirte from Haftar's militias until now?"
Beit Al-Mal: "Well, he has enjoyed a great deal of Russian support. We might be preparing for a secret military operation to liberate Sirte and Jufra, in keeping with the agreement with our friend, Turkey. It is an overt and legitimate agreement between the Government of National Accord and Turkey. This is a legitimate and overt issue. But the Russian intervention, especially that of the Wagner Group, as well as the UAE, and Haftar's forces being equipped with a large number of UAVs and the air defense systems in the eastern region, in Jufra and Sirte... This is what has prevented our advance, but we are about to advance now, using a different method, with a complete and fundamental change in our air defense systems in the Libyan air forces, as well as in our ground forces. Thanks to Allah, our ground forces are completely prepared. This is the only obstacle that is keeping us from advancing."