Forces under the command of Marshal Jalifa Hafter, tutor of the unrecognized Executive in eastern Libya and strongman of the country, today accused Turkey of violating the arms embargo imposed by the UN in 2011 and sending Syrian mercenaries to help the Government. National Agreement imposed by the United Nations in Tripoli (GNA).
At a press conference, LNA spokesman Colonel Ahmed al Mismari showed several videos to justify what he called a foreign “aggression” on the Libyan people.
“As long as that hostile force remains on Libyan land, the radical elements will continue to sow discord and bathe Libyan blood,” said Al Mismari, who showed several videos showing alleged Turkish tanks at alleged bases in Libya.
“Neglecting all its obligations in the fight against terrorism, the Turkish government has organized the transfer of defeated extremists in Syria to Libyan territory,” he said, before assuring that Ankara has deployed more than 7,000 Syrian mercenaries to the country.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) denounced this week that Syrian mercenaries hired by Turkey led the assault and reconquest of the Al Watiya area base, one of the main logistics centers of the forces under the command of Marshal Jalifa Hafter (LNA ) in the siege that has been keeping Tripoli for more than 14 months.
SOHR also reported that more than 9,500 Syrian mercenaries have been recruited by Turkey and sent to Libya in the last four months to Libya to fight alongside the GNA, including dozens of minors.
The arrival of Syrian soldiers of fortune, mostly veterans of pro-Turkish Islamist opposition groups such as the “Al-Mu’tasim” and “Sultan Murad” divisions or the “Suqur Al-Shamal” or “Al-Hamzat and Suleiman Shah ”, has served in recent weeks for the GNA and its ally, the city-state of Misrata, to stop the advance of Hafter’s forces, which still control most of the national territory and strategic energy reserves.
According to the NGO, at least 311 Syrian militiamen have died in the operations, including 18 teenagers and several detachment leaders, the vast majority in locations in the capital’s strategic south belt, such as Salah Al-Din, Al-Ramlah, Al- Hadabah, close to the old Tripoli international airport -unused since 2014- and in the province of Misrata.
In this environment, the US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, spoke by telephone this Friday with the leader of the GNA Presidential Council, Fayez al-Sarraj, to convey once again the opposition of the United States to the continued introduction of weapons and ammunition that they enter the country. ”
Pompeo and Sarraj “emphasized the importance of immediately stopping the fighting and returning to political dialogue,” he reported in an official statement.
The note did not reveal whether Pompeo pointed to any particular country during his interview with the GNA leader, who is supported by Turkey.
A MULTINATIONAL WAR
Libya is a failed state, a victim of chaos and civil war, since in 2011 NATO contributed militarily to the victory of the various rebel groups over the dictatorship of Muammar Gaddafi.
Since Hafter encircled the capital in April 2019 to take it away from the GNA, – imposed three years earlier by the UN after its failed peace plan – the fratricidal confrontation has turned into a privatized multinational conflict without armies, fought by local militias and foreign mercenaries hired by both parties.
While the GNA has the support of Turkey, Italy and Qatar, Hafter is backed by Russian, Sudanese, Chadian and Syrian mercenaries, in addition to economic and military aid from Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Russia and France. .