Colonel Abdul-Salam Al-Barasi from the eastern city of Bayda defected from Khalifa Haftar’s self-proclaimed Libyan National Army on Monday.
Al-Barasi, a senior commander in Al-Jabal Al-Akhdar (Green Mountain) Military Zone pronounced his defection live on Al-Nabaa TV following Khalifa Haftar’s crackdown on Bayda military officers.
“I announce my defection from Dignity Operation, the so-called the General Command,” he declared.
Abdul-Salam Al-Barasi described the attack on Colonel Faraj Al-Barasi’s farm in Bayda last night as a terrorist act, saying the attackers had frightened local residents including children and women.
An armed force affiliated with Khalifa Haftar led by militiaman Ahmed Gharour stormed Faraj Al-Barasi’s farm in an attempt to abduct him, but he was not there at the time.
Abdul-Salam Al-Barasi said the armed force came from Marj town, the stronghold of Dignity Operation’s command, and stormed into women and children’s bedrooms in search for Colonel Faraj.
“This is a terrorist act,” he remarked.
He also declared that the stormed houses have been looted by Khalifa Haftar’s militia, asking the tribes there to denounce the terrorist act.
Meanwhile, Capt. Adel Al-Dirsi from the so-called “Libyan National Army” has also defected in protest against the attack on Faraj Al-Barasi’s farm.
“We will respond to Khalifa Haftar’s terrorist acts and we will give him a lesson he will never forget,” Adel Al-Dirsi has threatened.
Khalifa Haftar's self-declared army is made up of different groups and factions including the notorious Sahawat (awakening) fighters, who are the backbone of that army. Others include tribal groups, former regime militants, and extremist salafists.