Turkey began sending troops to Libya in January to shore up the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA). Before that, Ankara provided the GNA with military equipment to assist Tripoli in its ongoing campaign against the Tobruk-based government and the Libyan National Army (LNA) of Gen. Khalifa Haftar.
Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy has warned that there would be serious consequences for Gen. Haftar’s forces if the Libyan National Army attacked Turkish troops operating in Libya.
Aksoy’s comments came in the wake of remarks by Libyan National Army Air Force commander Saqr al-Jaroushi earlier in the day warning that “the largest aerial campaign in Libyan history” would be launched “in the coming hours” targeting Turkish forces.
“This is the last time we are warning those deceived persons who have joined the ranks of the [GNA] militias: surrender or be annihilated, and there won’t even be anything left of their bodies to bury,” the officer warned.
Commenting on the remarks, Aksoy suggested it was “noteworthy that this statement was made after new military aircraft were deployed in eastern Libya through external support.”
Last week, Fathi Bashagha, minister of interior in the GNA government, alleged that at least eight jet fighters, including six MiG-29s and two Sukhoi Su-24s, were delivered to Libya from Syria. Damascus established diplomatic relations with the Tobruk-based…