The HoR responded to the triumph of Operation Libya Dawn by branding its forces as well as those of Ansar Al-Sharia as terrorists. This was a rushed and short-sighted move on the part of the House. It promoted polarisation mirroring the moves of Operation Dawn. It also created a climate in which ‘moderate’ Islamists like the MB and Misratans were keen to work with the emerging ISIS groups.
Labelling powerful forces who are viewed by many as noble revolutionaries and part of the state as “terrorists” and as on a par with Ansar Al-Sharia was certainly less than diplomatic — as well as being inaccurate as many Misratan fighters are non-ideological. By this decision the HoR effectively dismissed and criminalised Misrata and the array of towns that lined up behind it, fuelling the perception that the new House is not-only partisan by not representative of most Libyans. The decision also prompted the belief in the Islamist camp that this was a way for the HoR to justify the possible intervention by Egypt, the UAE, or other regional players that Libya is currently witnessing.