Libyan Official Warns Against US Strike On Group Behind Consulate Attack

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A car vehicle burns after it was set on fire inside the US consulate compound in Benghazi late on Sept. 11, 2012. (credit: STR/AFP/Getty Images)

A car vehicle burns after it was set on fire inside the US consulate compound in Benghazi late on Sept. 11, 2012. (credit: STR/AFP/Getty Images)

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WASHINGTON (CBSDC) — A Libyan military official warns against a U.S. military strike on the terror group that killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans last month.

Col. Hamid Hassi of the military High Command in charge in Eastern Libya told CBS News that a possible American attack could “destabilize” the region.

“America and Libya should work together on catching the men who attacked the consulate,” Hassi tells CBS News. “But if the Americans act alone it will cause huge resentment and could destabilize the whole region.”

Hassi says that Ansar al Sharia fighters – the group that is suspected behind the terror attacks on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi on Sept. 11 – are regrouping and are only 30 miles outside the city.

“The Defense Ministry and the Americans know where they are. Two weeks ago, there were drones flying over the area.”

Hassi’s operation of trying to capture another group of extremists who killed police officers near the town of Susa has been stalled as he waits for the national army in Tripoli.

“We have to concentrate on Eastern Libya,” Hassi explains to CBS News. “If we don’t, we won’t only lose control in Bani Walid, we will lose the whole North African coast.”

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee are holding a hearing Wednesday regarding the security flaws that resulted in the death of Ambassador Stevens.

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