By Libya Herald staff.
26 October 2014:
Libyan Army operations in the Jebel Nafusa (Western Mountains) region are being carried out under the . . .[restrict]Chief of Staff, not retired general Khalifa Haftar, who is leading Operation Dignity in the east of the country, or the Zintanis, according to a military commander.
“Our orders come directly from the Chief of Staff, not from General Haftar,” Commander of Military Operations in western Libya Colonel Idris Madi told the Libya Herald. “The enemy is the same but there is a difference between the front line in the east and the front line in the west.”
In the western region, operations started under the direct orders of the Chief of Staff, whereas in the east, operations started before orders were given and before the new Chief of Staff had been appointed, he said.
Operation Dignity, an offensive against the presence of Islamist-affiliated militias in Benghazi, was started by General Haftar and breakaway members of the official military forces based in the east in May. It was inspired out of frustration at a series of individual assassinations of members of the military, police and activists in both Benghazi and Derna which has left hundreds dead, without a single successful investigation or prosecution. Operation Dignity was finally brought under the official Libyan Army earlier this month.
By contrast, western military operations began in July when the Libya Dawn movement launched an attack on Tripoli International Airport. Units withdrew from Tripoli to the Jebel Nafusa and surrounding area to regroup and reorganise themselves, Madi said, with operations restarting in early September.
He said another difference lay in the motivation behind the fighting. “Here in the western region, the fighting is based on political reasons, whereas in the east the problem is more about beliefs and ideologies,” Madi explained. [/restrict]