Libya, the appointment of a new intelligence chief awakens militias in Tripoli
The leaders of the armed groups of the Libyan capital raided the headquarters of the Presidential Council to demand the removal of the Foreign Minister and the withdrawal of the appointment of the head of the secret services, and to have the intelligence chief chosen by the former premier Fayez al-Sarraj, Imad Trabelsi.Al Aib – formerly a member of intelligence at the time of Gaddafi – is accused of being a Khalifa Haftar, accused of responsibility in the military offensive launched last year on the capital.
The appointment of him by the president, Mohammed al-Menfi, is intended to reunify the Libyan military institutions and to please General Haftar, who until a few days ago seemed to be the only obstacle to the success of this unitary government. This act of rebellion against the Presidential Council by the militias came after a meeting of the leaders of the forces of “Volcano di Rabbia” organized by the fired intelligence chief, al-Trabelsi. The meeting ended with the release of a note accusing al-Mangoush of having compared the Turkish forces present in Tripoli to the Russian mercenaries of the “Wagner” present in Cyrenaica, in support of Haftar.
Some videos broadcast online showed the moment when armed men attacked the headquarters of the Presidential Council, which is located at the Corinthia Hotel in Tripoli, and surrounded the area with dozens of military vehicles. The “Volcano of Anger” forces now threaten to besiege the presidential council headquarters and use the force of arms if their demands are not granted.
The commander of the 166th Brigade of the Chief of Staff, Muhammad al-Hassan, appeared in a video of the meeting, requesting that an armed force be mobilized and equipped to surround the headquarters of the Presidential Council and the Ministry of the Interior, until these requests will not be implemented, showing his anger at the Presidential Council’s decision to appoint a person close to Haftar to head the intelligence services: “We will make our voice heard by the government, which has not listened to it, and you will see on the ground the force that protected and defended Tripoli “.
Before the meeting, however, the spokesman for the press office of the “Volcano of Rabies” operation, Abd al-Malik al-Madani, revealed that a large force formed by the most important fighters of the operation was preparing for a possible attack from part of Haftar’s forces. Al-Madani said in a post on Facebook that the most important results of the meeting of military leaders loyal to Tripoli will be to remain united and to declare a state of maximum alert to prepare for any emergency.
As gunmen stormed the Corinthia Hotel, Al-Arabiya television station claimed President Al-Menfi had fled the hotel through the back door before the militiamen arrived. Sources of the Libyan National Unity Government contacted by Formiche.net tried to minimize the incident by recalling that the Corinthia Hotel is not the official seat of the Presidential Council – which does not yet have a venue for its meetings.
That the situation could get out of hand was understood last Thursday, when the former Libyan mufti at the head of the most extremist wing of the Islamic forces in Tripoli, al-Sadiq al-Ghariani, used the broadcaster from his exile in Istanbul. Al-Tanasuh television station, financed by Qatar, to launch invectives against Mangoush and ask for a demonstration in Tripoli against the minister. Al-Ghariani, during his last television appearance, harshly criticized the foreign minister’s statements on the withdrawal of mercenaries from Libya and said that “whoever said this does not deserve respect. His behavior indicates that he has no right to respond”.
According to Libyan media close to Haftar, such as Libya Akhbar 24, the Turkish intelligence services are behind this campaign, and it is intended to discourage the Libyan unitary government from demanding the withdrawal of pro-Turkish mercenaries from Tripoli. In addition to the al-Ghariani television station, we have witnessed a media escalation through the shareholders to the media against the head of Libyan diplomacy with appeals to demonstrate against her. Among the recipients of these appeals were personalities from Zawiya who were asked to put pressure on the government to appoint Salah Al-Numroush, the former defense minister of the Sarraj government from that city, in place of Al- Mangoush.
Minister Mangoush under attack for comparing the Turkish contractors, deployed in Tripolitania, to the Wagner mercenaries that Russia sent to support Haftar. The campaign launched two days ago by the media linked to the Libyan Muslim Brotherhood broadcasting from Turkey, such as TV al-Tanasuh, against the foreign minister of the new Libyan unitary government, Najla al-Mangoush, and the new intelligence chief, Hussein Al-Aib, had a climax on Friday evening: the tough stance of the Misrata militias, which are headed by the “Volcano di Rabbia” operation, followed by an action by the Tripoline militias at dawn today against the headquarters of the Libyan presidential council.