By Libya Herald reporter.
Malta, 5 February 2015:
Omar Al-Hassi the alternative Prime Minister of the internationally unrecognized National Salvation Government of Tripoli . . .[restrict]admitted that he had no control over the Libya Dawn militias. ”I have nothing (no power) on the ground”, he admitted.
Speaking at the end of an interview on Tuesday purportedly with the British Times newspaper, Hassi said that he was unable to stop the current fighting between the Libya Dawn troops and their mainly Zintani-led opposition in western Libya.
It was unclear from the widely circulated leaked and edited video clip of the interview whether Al-Hassi was aware that he was being recorded.
Hassi said that the Libya Dawn forces were made up from the Shields brigades from Misrata and Zawia and that these brigades wanted to put an end to the Zintanis and take away their weapons.
It is the first time representatives of the GNC/Libya Dawn faction have officially admitted that their forces are Misrata-led.
‘’I did not give the order to start the war and I do not now have the ability to ask them to stop the war’’, he added.
Al-Hassi added that his government had tried to integrate the Zintani militias that had lost the fierce confrontations last year in the Tripoli Airport battle into the army and police.
‘’I came with the Libya Dawn forces in order to save them (the Zintanis), but my control over Libya Dawn is limited and I do not possess any power now’’, he claimed.
The pronouncement by Al-Hassi was quickly interpreted as further evidence of a split between the Libya Dawn militias and the GNC, and that Al-Hassi was distancing himself from Libya Dawn militias.
However, today, the Hassi government released a statement clarifying his remarks, but it did not deny the statements or the video clip attributed to him.
Today’s statement stressed that Al-Hassi had meant that the Libya Dawn military forces are under the direct command of the Supreme Military Commander, the President of the GNC Nurri Abusahmain, and not under his command.
The statement stressed that Al-Hassi is fully behind the militias, the true revolutionaries representing the 17 February revolution. [/restrict]