The Address | Benghazi – Libya
BENGHAZI – The Turkish army’s Chief of the General Staff, Yaşar Güler, was killed during an attack on Al-Watiya base earlier this week which targeted Turkish Hawk air defense systems, General Brigadier Khaled Al-Mahjoub of the Libyan National Army (LNA) said on Thursday.
This comes after many conflicting reports surfaced regarding Güler’s presumed death following the Sunday attack on Al-Watiya base.
The Turkish government did not confirm nor deny any reports regarding Güler’s fate. However, Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency claimed that there were no human causalities following the attack.
The LNA, led by Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, has claimed responsibility for the Sunday attack on the Turkish air defense systems.
In a statement to the Libyan Address Journal, an informed military source stated that the Libyan National Army air force has targeted the Hawk systems deployed by Turkish forces in separate areas inside the al-Watiya, which covers an area of fifty square kilometres.
Ankara established a military foothold in Libya after signing a security agreement with the Tripoli-based Government National Accord (GNA) last year. As part of the agreement, Turkish troops as well as Ankara-backed Syrian mercenaries were deployed to back GNA in an effort fight LNA in western Libya.
A Turkish source told Reuters last month that Turkey was in talks with the GNA to establish two bases in Libya, one of them at Watiya, the most important airbase in western Libya.