Erdogan Admits Presence Of Specialized Troops In Libya
It is for the first time that Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has confirmed the presence of pro- Turkish Syrian fighters in Libya. A huge number of them have been dispatched and send by Ankara after rigorous training.
According to Erdogan, these troops are there as a part of the training exercise and will not retaliate. Erdogan supports the UN-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA), based in Tripoli. The GNA has been under sustained attack for months from the Libyan National Army led by Khalifa Haftar. February the warring sides agreed to a ceasefire and although there have been violations they have held two rounds of talks in Geneva.
Representative from various countries have agreed to create a peaceful ground in Libya. However, nothing concrete has happened on Syrian grounds. On the side lines of the Geneva conversations, the UN envoy Gassan Salame has been mediating between five military officials from both warring sides. But both sides have not set down any concrete steps to make the ceasefire a reality.
Khalifa Haftar on his part has made it clear that ceasefire will happen only when Turkish presence ceases in the region completely. With Erdogan confirming of the presence of training troops, the whole Geneva intervention plan can fall flat any moment. Haftar has been against the interference of Turkey from December 2019, when Ankara decided to sign two agreements over military cooperation with the legitimate government in Libya.
Khalifa Haftar’s Libya National Army has said that ‘any Turkish forces setting foot in the Libyan would be considered hostile forces and legitimate target.’ Recap Tayyip Erdogan had confirmed on December 10 that he would be sending in Turkish forces to support the GNA. However, Haftar has pointed out that in doing so, Erdogan would be in violation of the UN security council resolutions.
Haftar maybe correct is saying that the decision of GNA head, Fayez Serraj, to activate the military cooperation agreement with Turkey is merely ‘aimed at boosting his militia’s power.’ Sarraj may have missed the point that giving an entry to Turkey is like opening a death trap to another nation which would like to get a piece of this meaty nation.
According to the Haftar, the new alliance will amounted to a “defense pact” that grants the Turkish government the right to use Libyan airspace and waters as well as build military bases on Libyan soil. Libya remains oil and gas rich and reserves the borders important Mediterranean trade routes. The country’s destabilization aroused the avarice of various international players, including the Turkish government. With signing a pact for maritime boundaries, Turkey ensures the safety of Libya’s largest natural resource and mode of employment and trade.