By Libya Herald reporter.
Tripoli, 29 October 2014:
As many as 200 military officers from several of Libya’s western regions took part in a conference . . .[restrict]in Sorman, 20 kilometres west of Zawiya, today, declaring themselves to be the “Libyan Army” and to support Libya Dawn.
Attending were Major-General Abdussalam Jadallah Obeidi, sacked as Chief-of-Staff by the Thinni government in August but who has been retained by Tripoli-based antigovernment of Omar Al-Hassi. Hassi’s deputy, Mustafa Butita, was also present.
The choice of Sorman as the venue was politically symbolic. It is supposed to the Western Region military headquarters of the Libyan National Army, loyal to the Thinni government.
The fighting in the nearby Jebel Nafousa was a major issue at the conference. “The situation is extremely critical in Kikla” Obeidi said at a mini press conference during a break. “There have been 154 martyrs and 200 injured people there.” He added that “the Qaddafists are killing civilians and revolutionaries”. He was referring to Zintanis, despite the fact that they led the liberation of Tripoli in 2011.
The Zintanis and elements of the Libya National Army under the orders of the Beida-based governement have been battling against forces allied to Libya Dawn to take over Kikla for the past three weeks.
In Kikla, Obeidi said, there was “no difference between civilian fighters and military because they are all the same. They want to save Libya here in the west – and also in Benghazi”.
There was evident confidence at the meeting among the assembled officers that that would happen and that they would win the struggle for Libya. “We are moving fast and we hope to win soon against the Qaddafists, Mounir Massoud, a naval commander from Zawyia, told the Libya Herald.
“Hafter declares he represents the national army but I am the only legal Chief-of-Staff, Obeidi declared, “and there are no foreign countries helping us, unlike Hafter who has support from Egypt,that UAE and from mercenaries”.
The military officers condemned what they called Hafter’s “coup” which they said was helped by supporters of the former Qaddafi regime. It was because of this and “to build a free and legal State”, they said, that they gave their loyalty to Libya Dawn and Omar al-Hassi’s government in Tripoli.
They rejected the terrorism in “all its forms”.
“What is terrorism? Bombing Kikla and killing citizens are what I call terrorism”, Obeidi said. [/restrict]