• 12:09
  • Tuesday ,24 December 2019
العربية

Turkey, Russia exchange accusations over involvement in Libya

By-Ahram

Copts and Poliltical Islam

00:12

Tuesday ,24 December 2019

Turkey, Russia exchange accusations over involvement in Libya

Russia and Turkey have exchanged accusations over each other s involvement in the Libyan conflict amid calls by the Tripoli-based, UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) for backing against the operations of General Khalifa Haftar s Libyan National Army (LNA).

Russia has expressed concern over the deployment of Turkish troops in Libya, and the Tripoli government has called for the support of the United States, Britain, Italy and Belgium in its operations against the LNA.
 
Turkey s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan responded by saying he will not remain silent in the face of Russia sending "mercenaries" to Libya.
 
The escalation of the situation in Libya might push regional powers to intervene in Libya to protect their national security.
 
According to the German dpa news agency, the LNA, which considers purging terrorists as the key objective of its military campaign in Libya s capital, has established control over the Hamza military base in southern Tripoli.
 
Colonel Ahmed Al-Mesmari, the LNA s spokesman, said several times during the past few days that "fierce fighting" is currently taking place in Tripoli s southern and southeastern areas.
 
Moreover, unconfirmed media reports from Libya say that fighting is ongoing in Tripoli s eastern suburbs, including the coastal village of Tajura and the Friday market. Other confrontations are also taking place near Al Fateh University, but neither the LNA nor the GNA have announced their outcomes.
 
Military sites and targets affiliated with the UN-recognised government suffered LNA airstrikes on Friday and Saturday.
 
The involvement of regional and international powers in the Libyan conflict, which has been ongoing since the fall of Muammar Al-Gaddafi s regime in 2011, could possibly complicate the situation.
 
The oil-rich and OPEC member state has been divided between the UN-recognised parliament in Tobruk, most members of which oppose the Muslim Brotherhood, which is based in Tripoli along with the other movements that backs it.
 
The Libyan parliament has created an army that includes Gaddafi-era army officers, tribal fighters and Salafist elements.
 
Meanwhile, another government was formed by virtue of the Skhirat Agreement in Tripoli, opposing the parliament in Tobruk.
 
The Tripoli government backs a number of militias, many of which are affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood, including the latter s Fajr Libya, the Salafist Al-Nawasi, the Islamist Thowar Tarablus, and the local Abu Selim militia.
 
The small cities surrounding Tripoli are controlled by militias that have reinforced its troops against Haftar s LNA.
 
Other militias in southwestern Tripoli, who were forced out of the capital in 2014, maintain their relations with both the LNA and the GNA.
 
With 45,000 soldiers, the LNA remains the largest military force in Libya. Its soldiers are well-trained, managing to control Libya s eastern, southern and coastal areas, reaching the west of Sirte.
 
The LNA is backed by several Arab states, as well as France and Russia, while Qatar and Turkey support the GNA.
 
The continuation of fighting and the absence of a political settlement recently led to the failure of the Berlin conference that aimed at unifying the European position towards Libya.
 
The German initiative also attempted to stop the competition over Libya s oil by France and Italy and address the concerns of EU member-states in regards to illegal migration in Libya.
 
The Libyan crisis has had an impact on the regional situation in the Eastern Mediterranean region, which led to the escalation of tensions between Greece, Cyprus and Turkey following the military and marine deal between Ankara and the GNA.