By: Housam Najjair
On the date of the third anniversary of Dignity Operation, which is being celebrated in eastern cities that are governed by military rule, journalist and political activist Mansour Abied, who has abandoned the operation, has crashed the party with heavy criticism and allegations that would rock any boat.
Mansour Abied, a media performer who has interviewed most Dignity Operation commanders and enjoyed access to all areas of the conflict in eastern Libya under the protection of Khalifa Haftar’s self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA), took part in a debate in his newly established Libya Al-Watan TV on Monday night.
Abied began by giving testimony to the fact that the LNA had let ISIS escape Benghazi last May and used media propaganda as a cover up.
“We know from our contacts that ISIS was able to travel freely from Benghazi, in May, at the crack of dawn travelling the Sluq road all the way to Ajdabiya.” He stated.
Abied confirmed that these facts are true and that nobody can refute them. He said that the LNA had issued a fabricated excuse of an attack 48 hours later in Ajdabiya, parading some dead bodies, saying the army had caught up and dealt with the fleeing ISIS elements.
When asked why he thought the LNA would commit such an act, Abied replied, “It is not the soldiers of the LNA, it is the Command that wants to move the chess pieces to other places on the board and keep the game going.”
Abied said ISIS convoys from Derna and Benghazi had reached Sirte untouched prior to Al-Bunyan Al-Marsoos Operation, which defeated the radical group from the coastal city.
He claimed that other ISIS convoys from Benghazi had arrived in south Bani Walid town, removed their black ISIS flags and dressed in LNA uniforms before joining the Sirte Liberation Room of the LNA.
Abied revealed that over one hundred men had died due to poor planning, effectively used as cannon fodder in Benghazi so that Khalifa Haftar could stand on his platform and say he has an army.
He then shifted his attention to the mysterious assassinations that plagued Benghazi prior to the launch of Dignity Operation.
He said witnesses have come to light recently about the role played by foreign intelligence services at that period and have either been silenced, distanced or even murdered which opened the door to doubt as to who was the benefactor of these assassinations.
“How long are we going to be used in such a way just so the Sultan (Haftar) can sit on his chair?” He questioned.
Knowing how Khalifa Haftar’s inner circle works, Abied anticipated that a smear campaign would be launched against him in retaliation for his open attack on the Command of Dignity Operation.
“Their media campaign is quite obvious at this stage, they use social pressure on anyone who opposes them by going to his family and threatening his mother or father; it is an undignified war.” He remarked.
“Everyone who criticizes them is either an agent for Qatar or to the British or the Muslim Brotherhood.” He concluded.
Housam Najjair – a Libyan freelancer journalist