Turkey stepped up ‘the Libyan express’: hundreds of militants deployed
TRIPOLI, (BM) – Turkey continues to transfer militants of various nationalities to Libya, strengthening the formation of the Government of National Accord (GNA) of the North African country before the “decisive assault” of the port city of Sirte, learned BulgarianMilitary.com citing Al-Arabiya reports.
Earlier Monday, a Turkish plane arrived in the Libyan city of Misurata with 356 mercenaries from Syria, Tunisia, Egypt and Sudan. A few hours later, another side from Turkey landed with 126 fighters.
According to interlocutors of the Pan-Arab television channel, Turkey over the past few days has deployed about 1,400 Tunisian militants, “associated with extremist groups, from the Syrian provinces of Aleppo and Idlib” to the Libyan front.
As BulgarianMilitary.com reported, Ankara has transformed the port city of Misurata on the Libyan Mediterranean coast into a military bridgehead and a transshipment point through which mercenary mercenaries and weapons loads are transported to the front in a North African country.
Commentators associate Turkey’s consolidation of GNA ranks with new “parties” of militants with the intensified offensive on the city of Sirte and the Jufra air base located south of it, controlled by the Libyan National Army (LNA) Marshal Khalifa Haftar.
Ankara made the main bet on the “Islamic infantry” – thousands of mercenaries transferred from Syria after retraining in Turkish camps – taking into account the combat experience they acquired.
However, according to some reports, in particular the London-based non-governmental organization Syrian Observatory of Human Rights (SOHR), recently there has been a confusion and a certain outflow of forces back to Syria in the ranks of the Turkish “cannon fodder” in Libya.
It is alleged that at least 5,250 fighters out of a total of 15,300 originally deployed in Libya returned to the north-west of this Arab Republic, to the Idlib region.
At the same time, the SOHR indicates that approximately 300 Syrian child soldiers, minors, are still fighting on the Libyan front. Most of them were recruited into the Turkish-supported Syrian “moderate” group Sultan Murad. At least 400 pro-Turkish fighters who died on the Libyan front since the beginning of this year are also alleged.
Turkey may deploy S-400 defense systems in Libya
As we reported on July 9 and according Turkish experts, Russian S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems, acquired by Ankara about a year ago, will be deployed in Libya, blocking the airspace of this country from the appearance of any drones and airplanes in the sky.
A similar decision is made on the basis that a number of countries are actively helping the Libyan National Army, and therefore, the forces of the Government of National Accord of Libya and Turkey are quickly losing their advantage.
“Since more than just a missile system is at stake, Ankara wants to maintain a balance between Moscow and Washington, preferring not to risk its relations on the one hand at the expense of the other. One of the most profitable scenarios that can be taken by the three main parties is the deployment of the S-400 system in Libya in accordance with security agreements and military operations between Ankara and Tripoli and after coordination with Moscow and Washington,” the Turkish Daily reported. Sabah.
On the other hand, experts note that such a proposal will not be supported neither from Russia, which opposes the re-export of its weapons and supporting the forces of the Libyan National Army nor from Washington Washington, as this will enable Russia, in the opinion of the United States, to control this region.
Ankara called on Haftar to resign
One of the conditions for ending the war in Libya is the withdrawal of illegal armed formations of Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar from strategically important areas of the country, the Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said in interview on July 12.
He said that during the negotiations in Istanbul, Moscow proposed a date for a ceasefire in Libya, but the Government of National Accord (GNA) made a condition: the liberation of the cities of Sirte and Jufra.
“The further development of the processes depends on the opposite side of the Libyan National Army of the LNA,” Cavusoglu stressed. He warned that otherwise the offensive operations of the GNA would continue.
According to the Foreign Minister, if tension persists in the country, this could lead to a direct clash of foreign forces. Turkey, according to Cavusoglu, is opposed to “escalating the situation” and military clashes.
On July 7, it was reported that al-Vatiya airbase in northwestern Libya was attacked by modern military aircraft, which are not in the arsenal of the head of the LNA Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar and his supporters. On this basis, the Libyan government accused unnamed foreign states of the attack.
Prior to this, Cavusoglu called Haftar a coup piracy and refused to support the Cairo Declaration of Armistice. Its conditions included a ceasefire throughout the country, equal representation of all parts of the country in political bodies – Tripolitania, Fezzana and Cyrenaica [LNA and GNA control different regions of Libya], and the adoption of a constitutional declaration.
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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