By Moutaz Ali.
Tripoli, 7 November 2016:
The Benghazi home in Al-Mahdi Al-Bargharthi, the acting defence minister in the Presidency Council’s Government of National Accord, was torched last night after he give a press conference in Tripoli attacking the Libyan National Army and describing its forces in the oil crescent as foreign mercenaries.
A spokesman for him in the capital denied any such attack on the house in Benghazi’s Salmani district but a security official in Benghazi who asked not to be identified confirmed it to the Libya Herald. The attack took place at around 8pm, the official said.
In his press conference broadcast on the pro-Benghazi Defence Brigades Panorama TV, Barghathi said that those who had taken part in the Libyan National Army’s capture of the oil crescent area were foreign mercenaries and that there were no legitimate military operations in Benghazi. As for the way in which the battle against the militants was being handled by the LNA, he added, it would last forever.
Calling on the city’s residents to join in building state and legal institutions, he claimed that the vast majority of those who had been killed there as a result of Operation Dignity had been civilians.
Barghathi who was himself one of the LNA’s main commander during much of Operation Dignity’s battle against militants in Benghazi also denied claims that he was preparing to retake the central region oil fields.
“We would never think about invading the east. At the same time, we will ever accept the east to take over the west,” he stated.
As to his visit to Jufra airbase between Hun and Waddan which sparked the rumours that he was planning an attack, the purpose was, he said, to check the possibility of transferring the Defence Ministry HQ’s to Hun.
Referring to the murder of three members of his former 204 Tank Brigade and the disappearance of two others, however, he warned that he and others would “not stand idly by confronted with this”.