The Address | Benghazi – Libya
TRIPOLI – Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said that his country will “mobilize all [its] facilities” to support “our Libyan brothers”.
Speaking at the opening of his party’s 28th Consultation and Assessment Meeting, Erdoğan said “we will mobilize all our facilities” to “stand next to our Libyan brothers and sisters as we have done until today”.
Erdoğan said the fighting in the Libyan capital of Tripoli is between the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA), which he said represents “the legitimacy of the Libyan people”, and the Libyan National Army (LNA), led by Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar.
He said that Libya is one of the places where the new scenes of dark scenarios are aimed at the peace of the region.
Erdoğan’s talk of providing “facilities” came as the LNA began to unravel the presence of mercenaries from Eritrea, Turkey and Ecuador who are being given logistical support by Ankara and Doha.
During the past week, LNA was able to arrest a number of Turkish armed elements who were fighting alongside the Tripoli militias, in a development that seems to confirm the direct involvement of the Erdoğan government in the Libyan conflict. Many of the passports of the Turkish elements were seized by LNA forces.
Spokesman of the General Command of the LNA, General Brigadier Ahmed al-Mesmari said on Thursday that it had detected dozens of terrorist fighters among GNA forces.
He said foreign elements were fighting alongside the GNA’s forces in Tripoli, in addition to Islamic extremists brought in from the towns of Zuwara and Misurata.
The LNA spokesman revealed that the LNA forces discovered the wreckage of the Mirage F-1 fighter along with the airplane pilot’s chair and a parachute.
Al-Mesmari said during his press conference that these elements came through Turkey.
Turkey’s meddling in Libya’s affairs predates the current conflict in Tripoli. Libyan port authorities in both Khoms and Misurata have, in multiple incidents, seized cargo ships loaded with weapons which arrived from Turkey, in violation of the United Nations arms embargo on Libya.