Co-chair of the Syrian Democratic Council (SDM) Riyad Derar - Hawar News
CAIRO - 26 December 2019: Co-chair of the Syrian Democratic Council (SDM) Riyad Derar told Al Ain Newspaper that Turkey plans to transfer 500 mercenaries from Northern Syria to Libya to fight alongside Tripoli militias defending the Government of National Accord (GNA).
Derar added that the mercenaries include Islamic State (IS) militants, and that each of them will receive $2,000 per month. “The number of elements affiliated with Turkey will increase in Libya...Turkey does not use its soldiers in combat. It uses the mercenaries made by the Syrian crisis,” Derar said.
Derar pointed out that Turkey wants to control Libya’s oil and gas through its alliance with GNA in addition to the ideological proximity between GNA’s Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj and Turkish President Recep Tayip Erdogan as they are both affiliated to the Muslim Brotherhood. The political leader added that Erdogan adopts the neo-ottomanism ideology embodied in his country’s intervention Northern Syria and intended military interference in Libya.
Turkish President Recep Tayip Erdogan stated that troops will be sent to Libya upon the request of the interim government in Tripoli and that the parliament is expected to pass the decree on January 8.
On Thursday, the Turkish gazette published the endorsement of the MoU on military and security cooperation signed by Turkey and the Government of National Accord (GNA) on November 27 announcing its enactment. On December 21, the Turkish parliament’s plenary session approved the MoU’s endorsement.
On Wednesday, Erdogan visited Tunisia to discuss cooperation over endeavors to reach a ceasefire in Libya. On Thursday, the Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA)’s Ministry of Interior Fathy Bash Agha stated in a press conference that Tunisia is part of an alliance encompassing GNA and Turkey, which was negated by Spokeswoman of the Tunisian Presidency Rashida al-Nayfar.
Agha also stated on Thursday that the GNA, which is not elected, may request Turkish military support, if the war near Tripoli continues as the Libyan National Army (LNA) has been attempting to enter Tripoli since April.
The UN-backed non-elected GNA has not reached an agreement with LNA and is protected by militias. Since April, LNA has been attempting to enter Tripoli and captured Mitiga airport for a while.
Chief of Staff of the Libyan Naval Force Faraj al-Mahdawi said on Sunday that the navy is on high alert to confront any possible attack by Turkish forces on Libya. "The army is also ready for action and will block any backup for the militias and prevent access of Turkish forces into the Libyan lands," Mahdawi told Al-Arabiya.
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