By Noora Ibrahim.
Benghazi, 11 June 2014:
One of the founders of the 17 February Brigade, Salafist preacher Ashraf Al-Mayar, has joined “Operation Dignity” . . .[restrict]under the leadership of retired general Khalifa Hafter. Al-Mayar made the announcement of his surprise move yesterday, declaring his intention of helping fight terrorists in Benghazi alongside the Libyan army.
He said that he had quit the brigade in February, after protestors were shot at when they demonstrated outside its headquarters.
Commenting on the announcement, “Operation Dignity” spokesman Mohammed Al-Hijazi said that although Al-Mayar had founded the 17 February Brigade, he and other members decided to abandon it when they realized that terrorists and extremists were joining it.
Al-Mayar has now formed a new unit under the name of Sariet Al-Agha. He says it includes all those who quit 17 February Brigade with him. The unit will fight terrorists alongside the Libyan army.
For security reasons, Hijazi refused to declare the exact number of those who have defected and joined the “Operation Dignity” campaign.
Meanwhile, a fighter plane was seen in the skies over Benghazi at around 7pm yesterday. According to Hijazi, it was involved in action targeting a farm in the Gwarsha district where extremists were storing weapons and holding meetings. It was the second time the farm had been hit. This time, he said, all weapons inside the farm were totally destroyed. [/restrict]