The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) has said sources revealed Turkey has stepped up its military involvement in Libya and will resume sending mercenaries to Libya.
According to sources, Ankara intends to send a new batch of Syrian fighters to Libya in the next few days, despite the ongoing negotiations for a political solution after the agreement on the ceasefire between Libyan parties.
The Observatory reported that the return of Turkish-backed Syrian mercenaries has been suspended for over 20 days, since the latest batch arrived in Syria in mid-November.
SOHR reported that about 18,000 Syrian mercenaries arrived in Libya, including 350 children under the age of 18, of whom 10,750 returned to Syria after completing the duration of their contracts and receiving their salaries.
The number of extremists transported from Syria to Libya has reached 10,000, including 2,500 Tunisians, to support the Government of National Accord (GNA) headed by Fayez al-Sarraj.
The Observatory indicated that 496 Syrians have been killed in Libya.
First published on EgyptToday
The European Union imposed sanctions on Monday on a Turkish shipping company for breaking the United Nations arms embargo on Libya, Reuters said.
The EU froze assets of Avrasya Shipping whose cargo ship, Çirkin, accused of smuggling weapons to Libya and involved in an incident on June 10 in which the French frigate Courbet said it was illuminated by the targeting radar of a Turkish warship escorting a Tanzanian-flagged cargo ship in the eastern Mediterranean.
The Courbet was part of NATO’s Sea Guardian operation, which helps provide maritime security in the region. France said it was acting on intelligence from NATO that the Turkish-escorted ship was suspected of trafficking arms to Libya.
“The Çirkin has been linked to transports of military material to Libya in May and June 2020,” Reuters cited the EU’s Official Journal as saying.
Turkey has been denying arms trafficking allegations and said the ship was carrying humanitarian aid to the war-torn country.
The EU has a naval mission to support the U.N. embargo on Libya and the Courbet was part of NATO’s Sea Guardian operation, which helps provide maritime security in the region.
Turkey and France back opposing sides in Libya’s civil war. Turkey is supporting the U.N.-recognised, Tripoli-based Government of National Accord in its fight against eastern-based rebel General Khalifa Haftar’s Libyan National Army, which is backed by Russia, Egypt, and France, among others.
France’s Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier this week spotted a Turkish frigate escorting a cargo ship delivering armored vehicles to the Libyan capital Tripoli in defiance of a UN embargo, a French military source said.
The cargo ship Bana docked in Tripoli port on Wednesday, said the source, who asked not to be named.
The armored vehicles were apparently intended for the Turkish-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) led by Fayez al-Sarraj.
Libya’s warring parties are led by Libyan National Army (LNA) chief Khalifa Haftar and Sarraj.
UN special representative for Libya Ghassan Salame accused foreign actors Thursday of continuing to meddle in Libya’s conflict, in violation of commitments made at the Berlin Conference this month.
Speaking before the UN Security Council, Salame warned that “these maneuvers to resupply the two parties threaten to precipitate a new and much more dangerous conflagration.”
“They violate the spirit and the letter of the Berlin Conference,” Salame said in an impassioned briefing in front of the 15-member council.
“I urge the parties and their foreign sponsors to desist from reckless actions and instead renew their expressed commitment to work towards a ceasefire,” he added.
World leaders committed to ending all foreign interference and to uphold a weapons embargo to help end Libya’s war during the conference in the German capital on January 19.
The Turkish governing party of Justice and Development explained the reasons that had led Turkey to withdraw its delegation from Palermo conference on Libya.
According to the spokesman of Justice and Development Party Ömer Çelik, the Turkish delegation decided to leave the international conference, held in the Italian city of Palermo, in protest of mistreatment that had been accorded to the delegation.
In contrary, there are reports saying that the decision to pull out from the Italian-led conference was made by Turkey after the Presidential Council’s head Fayez Sarraj, Parliament’s president Aguila Saleh and HCS’s chairman Khaled Mishri issued a joint statement that preserve the role of Egypt as a main guarantor of the unification of the Libyan army.
A statement shared their solidarity to continue work on unifying the Libyan military institution under the aegis of Egypt instead of turning over the issue to the United Nations as Turkey was expecting.
Ankara is believed to be as the Egypt’s main rival for leadership in the process of Libya’s army unification. Prior to Palermo conference, Turkey held a vast number of high-level meetings with the GNA officials to discussed the military cooperation between two countries and offered to contribute to the fields such as defense, military personnel training and arming.
On Tuesday, GNA Economy Minister Ali Al-Issawi received Turkish ambassador to Libya Ahmed Dogan at the ministry’s headquarters in the capital Tripoli. Continue reading “Libya Economy Minister Urges Turkey to Revive Suspended Economic Agreements”
Member of the Committee on Defense and National Security in the House of Representatives Tareq Al-Jorshi accused Turkey of supporting terror groups, including Al-Qaeda, as well as the Muslim Brotherhood in Libya. Continue reading “Libyan MP: Turkey Supports Remnants Of Al-Qaeda And Muslim Brotherhood In Libya”
Libya will press charges against Qatar and Turkey for supporting terrorist groups in the International Court, a member of the House of Representatives Faraj Al-Shalawi announced in an interview to Al-Ain newspaper. Continue reading “Libyan MP: Libya Will Sue Qatar And Turkey In The International Court”
On Sunday, three Turkish engineers have been released 8 months after being abducted by unknown gunmen in the town of Ubari in southern Libya. Continue reading “Three Turkish Engineers Abducted in Libya to Return Home”