Renegade General Khalifa Haftar has ordered Defense Minister-designate of UN-proposed government Al-Mihdi Al-Baraghati to return to Benghazi immediately, 4 days after his arrival in Tripoli to take office.
A high ranking military officer from Haftar's command told Emirati website Erem News Saturday that Al-Baraghati has been given a directive to resign from the government and return to Benghazi frontlines or he would be punished.
"Al-Baraghati could face a military trial for violating military rules," the officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity, indicated, a step that would escalate tension between both.
Colonel Al-Mihdi Al-Baraghati is one of Dignity Operation field commanders but he is at odds with Khalifa Haftar, the top commander and founder of the operation. CIA-linked Khalifa Haftar wants a military figure for the position of defense minister who is fully obedient to his orders, as his name was not accepted.
The officer disclosed that Al-Baraghati was not recommended by the "General Command" and that Jamal Al-Zahawi, commander of 21 Saiqa brigade and very loyalist to Haftar, could take over his military duties in Benghazi.
Meanwhile, Al-Mihdi Al-Baraghati's brigade, known as 204 tanks, renewed support to him and warned of consequences of obstruction of Al-Baraghati's nomination as defense minister in the UN-proposed government.
"We warn those who are exploiting the martyrs' blood and seeking power through obstructing Colonel Al-Mihdi Al-Baraghati's nomination of consequences and we would stand against them whoever they are," the brigade said in a statement.