The floods that swept through eastern Libya brought retired General Khalifa Haftar back to the forefront of events, but this time through two of his sons, Siddiq and Saddam, whose name rose to prominence in the Libyan political scene more after the Derna disaster, with different political and military careers.

Rehan El-Din, a London-based Middle East Eye correspondent, said that when Storm Daniel hit eastern Libya on September 11, Haftar was in Paris to launch his presidential campaign.

Al-Siddiq said during a press interview that he has all the necessary means to calm the situation in Libya and achieve Libyan cohesion and unity, but he quickly returned to his country after the devastating disaster that hit Derna.

Al-Siddiq is the eldest son of Khalifa Haftar, a retired general who heads the so-called Libyan Arab Armed Forces (LAAF) alliance and controls eastern and southern Libya.

His brother Saddam Haftar also made international headlines when he told Sky News on Monday, "Yes, we need help, but rescue teams are doing their job."

Asked if authorities could avert a disaster, including improving collapsed dams, he said "everything was fine" and he had "no criticism".

The trump card
According to Jalil Harchaoui, a Libya specialist and associate fellow at the Royal United Services Institute, Haftar's sons were known to the late Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi and had a good relationship with them. Haftar was not a dangerous adversary in exile.

When his father returned to Libya after Gaddafi's ouster in 2011, Siddiq remained out of sight. "He was never associated with any armed group or security issues, but he was a civilian citizen, and that's what made him so important," Harchaoui said.

The friend was never considered a strong figure, but that seems to have changed in recent months. In this context, Harchaoui said, Siddiq "represents the trump card of the Haftar family. If Saddam, Khalid (Haftar's third son) and their father cannot run because they are military, Siddiq represents the best alternative."

Earlier this year, Siddiq became the honorary president of Al-Merreikh Club, one of Sudan's most successful football clubs, which recently faced financial difficulties. Haftar's family reportedly donated two million dollars to the struggling club, and later hosted the new honorary figure from RSF commander Mohamed Hamdan Daglo (known as Hemedti), who stressed that the meeting was not political.

A dictator
formed Imad Eddin Badi, a senior nonresident fellow in the Atlantic Council's Middle East program, questions Siddiq's approach. "Quite frankly, he is seen as a ridiculous person. "Although he is Haftar's eldest son and has announced his political ambitions, he has little credibility."

Saddam Haftar, unlike his older brother, is more popular and engaged in many fields. He was also born and raised in Benghazi, Haftar's youngest son and in his mid-thirties. Analysts believe that he has the character of a strong man.

"Saddam is a dictator in the making. "It is trying to take over aspects of the family enterprise, the Libyan Arab Armed Forces (LAAF), while expanding new projects, including engaging in many illegal activities."

According to Imad al-Din, "Saddam relies on the use of severe repression through his guard units, which is likely to be his preferred strategy for claiming his father's throne when the situation worsens." He is allegedly involved in a number of illicit trafficking activities, including drugs, fuel, gold and scrap metal from confiscated factories.

"Saddam has diplomatic and ideological cover, and until such time as British and French diplomats talk about him, he still has a wide range of possibilities."