Turkey threatened Haftar with a ‘devastating blow’ and hinted at Russia
ANKARA, (BM) – A spokesman for the Turkish president, Ibrahim Kalyn, warned on May 21, that Ankara would respond to any attack in Libya against Turkish forces in the “toughest way”, learned BulgarianMilitary.com citing EurAsia Daily.
According to him, the Turkish military, located in a North African country, is ready for self-defense using combat drones and ships deployed near Tripoli.
Similar warnings addressed to the Libyan National Army (LNA) under the command of Marshal Khalifa Haftar earlier on Thursday were spokesman for the Turkish Foreign Ministry Hami Aksoy.
“In the event of the slightest threat to the Turkish military in Libya and the interests of Turkey in the region, a devastating blow will follow the armed forces of Khalifa Haftar,” he said, commenting on the plans of the LNA command to launch air strikes on the location of the Turkish military in Libya. – “The consequences of such actions will be very serious for the Haftar supporters themselves. We remind you again that we will take Haftar’s formations as an object for delivering legitimate attacks. ”
Aksoy also noted that threats against Ankara began to be voiced by Haftar “after the transfer of aviation equipment to the east of Libya through one of the foreign countries.”
As reported by BulgarianMilitary.com, the Air Force of the Libyan National Army is preparing “unprecedented strikes” against Turkish targets in a North African country.
“In the next few hours, you will see the largest air campaign in the history of Libya,” said Sakra al-Jarusha, the commander of the LNA Air Force, distributed on May 21. “All of Turkey’s positions and interests in all (Libyan) cities are legitimate goals for our aircraft, and we urge the civilian population to stay away from them.”
Events in Libya in recent days are developing rapidly. Earlier this week, Haftar’s forces lost control of Al-Vatiya airbase south of Tripoli, hurriedly leaving it under the pressure of Turkish-backed National Accord (GNA) forces led by Faiz Saraj. On the eve of May 20, the LNA command announced the unilateral withdrawal of its forces from the front line along the perimeter of the Libyan capital, where the GNA sits, for 2-3 kilometers as a sign of goodwill before the end of the holy month of Muslims Ramadan (May 23) and the onset of Eid al -Fitr (Uraza-bairam).
However, the truce proposed by Haftar was rejected by Saraj. The GNA said that in this way the LNA commander is trying to cover up his latest military failures.
According to local sources, at least eight Soviet-made planes arrived earlier in the east of Libya, which is controlled by LNA, from the Russian Hmeimim air base in Syria. GNA representatives are sharing with Western agencies information that six MiG-29 fighters and two Su-24 bombers flew in from Khmeimim, accompanied by two Russian Su-35 fighter jets. There is no official confirmation of this information. But, speaking of the transfer of aviation technology “through one of the foreign countries” to the east of Libya, the representative of the Turkish Foreign Ministry, as you can understand, had in mind Russia.
Recall that LNA, based in the east of the country, is supported by Russia, France, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. On the side of the GNA are Turkey and Qatar.
The presidents of Russia and Turkey, Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in a telephone conversation on May 18, discussed the situation in Libya and the ways of de-escalation in this country.
Libyan civil war
In Libya, armed clashes are currently taking place between supporters of different leaders. The country is led by the Government of National Accord (GNA), headed by Prime Minister Fayez Saraj, the “eastern government” led by Abdullah Abdurrahaman at-Thani.
The eastern government is supported by the commander of the Libyan National Army, Khalifa Haftar.
Recall that January 13 in Moscow, negotiations were held between the heads of the Libyan National Army (LNA) Khalif Haftar and the Government of National Accord (GNA) Faiz Sarraj. Also present were members of the Foreign Ministries of Russia and Turkey.
On the meeting the commander of the Libyan National Army (LNA), Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, has notified Russia about the conditions for continuing negotiations on the signing of a peace agreement in Libya.
According to the requirements of Haftar, the militias operating in Libya are required to surrender weapons in the period from 45 to 90 days. This process should be controlled by a special commission created by the LNA together with the UN
Haftar also refused to recognize Turkey as an intermediary in resolving the situation in Libya, since the Turkish side is not neutral and supports the Government of National Accord (GNA).
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