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Spokesman of the Commander-in-Chief of the Libyan Armed Forces, Major General Ahmed al-Mismari, accused Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of supporting ‘crime and terrorism’, as he was speaking at a press conference in Benghazi on Thursday.
Al-Mismari said footage captured at Tripoli’s seaport showed Turkish military vehicles, which had been transported into the Libyan capital and stationed into hangars. Additional footage allegedly shows a military training programme on the use of the vehicles conducted by Turkish consultants inside the seaport, according to the spokesperson.
Speaking about the Turkish military presence in the country, al-Mismari said he estimated there were around 1,500 Turkish military personnel in the country, alongside members from other security companies, and claimed Turkey was preparing to transfer 2,500 members of special security forces and commandos to Libya.
The spokesperson also said this presence put the ‘freedom and sovereignty’ of the country in danger.
The press conference came on the same day Turkey warned against any attacks on its interests in Libya by Khalifa Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA).”If Haftar’s putschist elements target Turkish interests in Libya, this will have serious repercussions and that we will consider them as legitimate targets,” said Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hami Aksoy.
Ankara intensified its military support of the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) in Libya in January, as the country remains stuck in a conflict between the Tripoli-based GNA forces and the LNA forces in eastern Libya.
Video ID: 20200522-049
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