Libya self-styled army commander Khalifa Haftar is in an almost vegetative state and “will never be normal again” because of his health issues, an informed source told Middle East Eye.
Haftar is suffering from lung cancer, which has spread to his brain, according to a European diplomat.
“He is unable to talk or even fully comprehend. He can not even sit or stand up,” said the source, who wished to remain anonymous.
“The doctor treating him says that even if he responds partially to treatment, it will be temporarily and he will never be normal again.”
A doctor, who wished to remain anonymous, said Haftar’s suffered what appeared to be a stroke, and the effects were irreversible.
The diplomat added that Haftar’s aides tried to organise a media appearance for him to put to rest news about his failing health, but the arrangement was cancelled because he is in “very bad shape”.
Several Libyan media outlets reported last week that Haftar was dead. But the United Nations Support Mission in Libya appeared to quash the rumours when it said that envoy Ghassan Salame spoke to the self-styled field marshal over the phone.
MEE understands that the conversation between Salame and Haftar did not make much sense because the Libyan commander was not lucid.
The diplomat told MEE that Salame was under pressure by Italy, France and the UAE to confirm that Haftar is alive.