The Dignity Operation is a military movement consisting of ideological fighting groups, including supporters of the military rule, the Salafi Madkhali militias, and outlaws and mercenaries who fight for money.
It originated in 2014 in Benghazi by Khalifa Haftar, described as a warlord having fought with and against nearly every faction in Libya's conflicts, from the 1969 coup that brought Gaddafi to power to supporting the 2011 revolution which overthrew his comrade.
Under its charter, it is committed to combating terrorism and bringing stability to the country, which was at that time recovering from the turmoil triggered by the wave of revolutions that spread across much of the Arab world in 2011, including Libya.
In 2014 Benghazi experienced a string of assassinations against current and former members of the army and security services, as well as members of the judiciary and civil activists.
Haftar, originally known for his opposition to the Islamist groups, accused the forces of the latter of carrying out the assassinations and vowed to clear the city of Islamists and revolutionary elements and take it by force.
But in 2019, a senior leader and defector from the Dignity Operation, Major Muhammad al-Hijazi, revealed that foreign intelligence agents were behind the assassinations that took place in Benghazi between 2013 and 2014.
Al-Hijazi said in an interview with the Libya Al-Ahrar channel that foreign intelligence was involved in the assassination of Abd al-Salam al-Mismari, Miftah Abu Zayd, lawyer Salwa Bugaighis and other activists in Benghazi.
The aim was to inflame public opinion in Benghazi and give Khalifa Haftar a cover to launch the Dignity Operation and control the region, Al-Hijazi said.
Since then, Haftar had made non-stop coup attempts framed as “war on terror” and fought to remove all civil authorities, including Libya’s first democratically elected parliament, the General National Congress.
In Haftar’s recent offensive against Tripoli, the approach was almost identical. He described the forces in Tripoli as terrorists, even though some of these armed groups had fought the ISIS group and defeated them in Sirte in 2016.
Haftar's militias, including senior leaders of the Dignity Operation, are accused of committing war crimes and crimes against humanity by the UN reports and the International Criminal Court.