Spokesman of the Libyan National Army (LNA) Ahmed al-Mesmari speaks during a news conference in the coastal city of Benghazi - AFP
CAIRO - 23 December 2019: Spokesperson of the Libyan National Army (LNA) Ahmed al-Mesmary talked in a TV interview with Amr Adib on Sunday about combatting terrorism and Turkish intervention in Libya clarifying the role of the Libyan Armed Forces in this stage.
Mesmary explained that members of his country’s army are all Libyans as the beginning of its rebuilt was the congregation of a number of national officers that later evolved to become an army. Mesmary pointed out that any talks on the presence of mercenaries in the LNA are lies, saying that whenever the Libyan army launches successful offensives, media channels funded by Libya’s enemies attempt to play down such success. Mesmary denied that the air strikes launched against targets on Libyan territories were by the Egyptian Air Force, affirming that no foreign forces have joined the LNA.
Mesmary added that Turkish President Recep Tayip Erdogan wants to achieve neo-ottomanism dreams in Libya and to vest Libya’s resources in the Mulsim Brotherhood. “The Libyan army is fighting on behalf of the world in this fierce war against guerilla groups,” Mesmary underlined. The NLA spokesperson added that in 2014, the LNA was fighting the Turkish intervention as Turkish arms and explosives were smuggled into the country while the injured militants used to receive treatment in Turkey. However, LNA restored control over Derna and the oil crescent in Libya stretching over 430 kilometers.
“Libyan oil is fully under the control of the Libyan army and the Libyan people. All oil fields and oil transport pipelines are secured by the General Command of the Armed Forces. The Oil Establishments Security Agency is the entity responsible for the protection of the oil infrastructure. Our battle is not to seize control over oil or power; our mission is to eliminate terrorism,” Mesmary stated.
As for the ship with Turkish crew members seized by the Libyan Naval Force, Mesmary clarifies, “This is not the first ship as several naval operations were carried out before. A military company commissioned to observe the beaches intercepted a ship flying Grenada flag. By inspection and checking of the itinerary, it turned out that the vessel departed from Malta and was heading to Alexandria. However, it entered Libyan waters, although we had warned it from doing so.”
“The shores of Derna are a sensitive area to Libyans as it was under the control of Ayman al-Zawahry but the army freed the city and now is protecting its air. We fulfill our duties in accordance with international norms,” Mesmary highlighted. Derna was an Al-Qaeda hotbed, harboring many terrorists and a recruitment source for the terror organization.
“There were armed groups that strived to form the Free Libyan Army and another of their Egyptian supporters to be part of Al-Qaeda. The Libyan people authorized the Libyan Armed Forces and Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar to save the country from bloodshed that started from Benghazi with torture, abduction, and forced disappearance. The people got bored from the chaos and all institutions resumed operation, including education establishments,” Mesmary stated.
“Nationalism has a price. Struggle has a price. There are many aspects to the battle and the media aspect is a motivation in combat,” Mesmary stipulated.
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