An Irish Libyan helping to overthrow the Colonel Gadafy regime claims the Rebels will have full control of Tripoli within six weeks after he led the march on the city.
Mahdi al-Harati is an Arabic teacher who normally resides in Dublin with his Irish-born wife and family but for the last seven months he has been fighting for Libyan freedom.
Soon after arriving in his native country back in February, al-Harati founded the Tripoli Revolutionary Brigade and just last week he was appointed deputy leader of Tripoli’s military council which hopes to merge all rebel units into one national army.
“Most of Tripoli is now under our control, but parts are in chaos. I would say 90 per cent is under control, militarily, and the remainder is made up of pockets of resistance from Gadafy loyalists,” al-Harati told The Irish Times.
“Every day we work on sweeping the city, area after area.”
He also spoke of the challenges facing the Rebels as they grow in power by the day.
“First, you have the actual troops fighting us, then you have the snipers, and then there are those in between, the ones we are not sure of. We have some information that they are loyalists, and some information that they are innocent people,” he added.
As the full horrors of the Gadafy regime’s bid to hang onto power become apparent – the remains of 53 executed dissidents have been found in a Tripoli warehouse – al-Harati said the Rebels are keen to establish proper political procedures,
“We have set up a committee of advocates and lawyers to make sure that everything goes by the law,” said al-Harati.
“This is not a committee that passes judgment – it is rather a committee that makes sure they are given the chance to make their statements so that they are ready when the government is in position to set up a judicial system and trials.”
Al-Harati is the leader of the largest of the rebel units who swept into Tripoli last week with several more Irish-Libyans also on the frontline including his Irish-born brother-in-law Hosam al-Najjair, the brigade’s head of security.