The defense minister of Turkey warned that any attack from the eastern Libyan renegade military commander Khalifa Haftar on its troops in the country would be met with full force. While talking to the Turkish military troops in Tripoli, Hulusi Akar stated on Thursday that in case of an attack on their soldiers, LNA’s forces will become a legitimate target.
These strongly-worded remarks came days after Haftar referred to Turkish troops operating in the North African nation to support the UN-recognized GNA government as foreign occupiers and that his self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA) would prepare to drive a military plan to drive them out. Referring to LNA, Akar said that if Haftar’s forces take a step forward, “they will be unable to find any place to flee to.”
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Earlier this year, Turkish armed forces helped repel a fourteen-month military offensive against the GNA government in Tripoli. Meanwhile, on the other hand, Khalifa Haftar is backed by the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, and Russia. But in October, both factions in the country signed a ceasefire agreement, opening doors for an election at the end of 2021.
According to the Libyan officials, the Turkish defense minister paid an unsurprised visit to Tripoli to discuss military cooperation between the Government of National Accord (GNA) and Ankara. Akar said that the political talks based on a ceasefire aimed to find a solution to the national crisis. He further urged all parties to contribute towards a political solution.
On the other hand, on Thursday, Haftar had said that there can be no peace in the country until there is a foreign “occupier on our soil. Moreover, political experts have suggested that all the parties are now working towards a political end to the crisis rather than a military one.
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