Khaled Al-Mashri, the head of the High Council of State, called on the Presidential Council to revoke the authority to use drones from Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh, who Al-Mishri accusing him of abusing those powers for “political ends.”
Al-Mashri released a statement on Friday a day after Dbeibeh’s government targeted the city of Zawiya, west of Tripoli, with air strikes, which the government claims was directed against fuel smugglers and human traffickers.
“We announce our rejection to authorizing usage of drone force to Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh, who also serves as acting Minister of Defense, to settle political scores against different parties under a pretext such as combating crime.”
He affirmed the “total and categorical rejection of all forms of smuggling and crime,” saying that confronting them “takes place through a series of measures and steps”. criticizing the government for “negligence” in that regard.
Al-Mashri even accused Dbeibe’s circle of involvement in fuel smuggling, stating that “the smuggling of oil and fuel takes place on a large scale, on a semi-official basis, through figures and advisors to the prime minister,” according to him.
He pointed out that the drone bombing “came a few days after a movement of the youth and residents of Zawiya rejected the spread of crime and the government’s negligence, which resulted in the formation of a committee of elders, notables, military and security agencies, and the youth of the movement to launch a plan to combat crime and smuggling.”
According to Al-Mashri, “the bombing took place without the knowledge of the Presidential Council in its capacity as the supreme commander of the Libyan army, and without the knowledge of the Chief of Staff, the western military region, and the recently formed Military and Security Committee.”
Dbeibeh’s government did not respond immediately to Al-Mishri’s statement.