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Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

Did Turkish Troops Really Arrive in Libya?

Mon 06 Jan 2020 | 01:07 AM
Nawal Sayed

Turkey’s president is sending mercenaries by rented civil planes via Mitiga International Airport, eastern Tripoli, Libya, according to Tarek Radwan, Chairman of African Affairs Committee in the Egyptian House of Representatives.

Radwan told SEENews on Sunday that the Libya National Army, led by General Khalifa Haftar, will successfully deal with those mercenaries backed by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

He added that Erdogan’s decision to send troops to Libya is a media show, noting that “Logistically and geopolitically, Ankara cannot send troops without an air or naval coverage for more than 1300 km as the carrying aircrafts must cross through Greek, Cypriot, Egyptian and Libyan spheres.”

“The only option for Turkey is to conclude some agreements with Tunisia or Algeria to secure the flights’ routes,” Radwan disclosed. 

It’s noteworthy that such scenario is not available to succeed as both Tunis and Rabat rejected the Turkish offer. 

In remarks with CNN Turk, Erdogan said Sunday that the country was deploying military units to Libya, where Ankara is supporting the government in Tripoli headed by Fayez Al Sarraj. 

Turkey’s parliament authorized the deployment of troops to Libya on Thursday, following a separate deal on sending military experts and weapons signed into law in December.

“Turkish soldiers were already going gradually to Libya,” Erdogan announced.

“The goal of the Turkish armed forces is not to fight, but to ensure a cease-fire in Libya” while supporting the government in Tripoli, Erdogan said, calling it the “legitimate government.” 

"There will be different units over there as combatant forces, they will not be from our military. Our top-level military personnel will be coordinating the situation over there," he added, without elaborating.

Ankara supports Sarraj's government along with Italy and Qatar.

The eastern government is supported by France, Egypt, Russia, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates and other key Arab countries.