By Jamal Adel.
In a swinging attack on Ansar Al-Sharia, Operation Dignity leader General General Khalifa Hafter warned today that foreign militants who . . .[restrict]did not quit Libya would die here.
“All terrorists who have entered Libya should leave it or they will be buried in it” he said in an interview on the Al-Arabiya TV channel.
He also accused Qatar of being behind a plot to kill him. “The assassination attempt that targeted us was carried out by Ansar Al-Sharia and supported and planned by Qatar and Libyan Fighting Group. It was an unsuccessful attempt”.
Hafter told the interviewer: “We are stronger than before in the level of equipment and forces and we do not need any support because the men and munitions are available”.
He added:”I assure you that 80 percent of the members of the Libyan air force, naval and army, are all with Operation Dignity. Very few who are working in the state cannot contribute and our numbers are increasing every day.”
Later at a press conference Hafter assured Libyans that Operation Dignity was gaining ground in its battle against terror and pledged to support democracy as the country moved toward the parliamentary election on 25 June.
He asked for border closures everywhere to contain the militias.
“We are progressing swiftly and gaining huge victories on the ground,” he said. “All that we ask for now is to close the borders to prevent the armed groups from fleeing or receiving support from outside.”
He said that he recognised the efforts of Chad, Niger, Egypt and Sudan over the past few months, who, he maintained, had all tightened up security at their borders, making it difficult for armed groups to move in and out.
“We are taking the armed groups step by step,” he explained. “They have not yet experienced the true meaning of war,” he threatened.
The general also lauded the Supreme Court of Libya, “which proved that it has the final call on all disputes across the country,” and expressed his appreciation for the Court’s decision on 9 June.
Greeting President Sisi and the Egyptian people, he expressed confidence in the new president, a man who “has come at just the right time—the perfect man in the perfect place”.
Claiming to be watching its every move, the general reminded Libyans that Ansar Al-Sharia has done nothing but kill, pointing out that, besides the security forces the group had targeted doctors, journalists and farmers. “Therefore,” he said, “we shall speak the same language that they do”.
He ended by assuring the public that Operation Dignity had not received any funding from outside of Libya.