Libyan government requests military support from Turkey
TRIPOLI, (BM) – Libya’s national consent government, which controls the western part of the country, has asked Turkey for military assistance, learned BulgarianMilitary.com. This was confirmed in the Russian contact group on the intra-Libyan settlement. It became known the day before that Ankara approved the memorandum of military cooperation concluded with the PNS.
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The Libyan Government of the National Accord (PNS), sitting in Tripoli, Faiz Saraj, asked Turkey to provide air defense systems, Al Hadath reported, citing its own sources. According to journalists, the Cabinet of Ministers in Tripoli also wants the Turkish Air Force to provide cover for the PNS ground forces.
Such an appeal from the office of Saraj to Ankara was also previously reported by Reuters with reference to a representative of the PNS.
Journalists said that in addition to air and ground Libyans also asked for naval military support.
This information was confirmed by RIA Novosti, the head of the Russian contact group on the intra-Libyan settlement Lev Dengov.
The day before, Ankara approved the memorandum of military cooperation concluded with the PNS, which was signed by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The corresponding decree was published in the official publication Resmi Gazete.
On December 21, the Turkish leader ratified a memorandum of military cooperation with the government in Tripoli. Prior to this, the president spoke about the possibility of sending his country’s military to Libya if the PNS appeals to Turkey with such a request. That is, Turkish troops can at any time enter Libya to protect the PNS from the Libyan National Army, led by Khalifa Haftar.
Erdogan and Fayez Saraj at the end of November signed memorandums of cooperation in the military sphere and of mutual understanding on maritime zones. The Turkish parliament ratified the memorandum on maritime zones on December 5.
Greece, Egypt and the House of Representatives (Parliament) sitting in eastern Libya called these documents illegal and invalid.
In particular, the envoy of the head of the interim government in eastern Libya, Abdullah at-Thani Aref Ali Nayed, told RIA Novosti that Turkish troops have been in Libya for many months.
The signed agreements, in his opinion, are necessary only to legitimize this presence.
“These troops [of Turkey] have been present for many months, and there are also Turkish drones. Turkish experts, Turkish special forces, communications specialists, Turkish snipers have been on the ground for many months, even before these agreements. These agreements are now needed simply to legitimize the presence of Turkish forces or even to get even more forces,” the source said.
At the same time, the chairman of the international committee of the Federation Council Konstantin Kosachev expressed the opinion that the Turkish side does not seek military action, despite the sending of military personnel to Libya.
“Most likely, Turkey does not really want to participate in real military operations. In any case, if she wanted to, she would not wait for a formal decision of the parliament in three weeks,” he wrote on Facebook.
So Ankara demonstrates that without it, the problems of resolving the situation in Libya will not be resolved, Kosachev suggested.
The political crisis in Libya began in 2011 after the overthrow and assassination of the actual head of state, Muammar Gaddafi. Since then, two political structures have been at the head of the country: in the east – the elected parliament, and in Tripoli, in the west – formed with the support of the UN and the European Union, the PNS, led by Faiz Saraj.
The authorities of the eastern part are collaborating with the army of Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar – she is waging a protracted war on terrorism.
On December 12, Haftar announced the start of a decisive battle and advance in Tripoli, which is under the control of the PNS.
According to Libyan media, clashes are taking place on the outskirts of the Libyan capital between Haftar and Saraj forces.
The offensive on Tripoli began in April this year. However, since then no serious successes have been achieved by the Libyan National Army. Today, each side continues to maintain its position, exchanging shelling and airstrikes.
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