FILE - Libyan Leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi holds out his hand during his speech at the Summit for the Non-aligned Countries in Belgrade, September 5, 1989. REUTERS/Stringer
CAIRO - 27 December 2019: Libyan Facebook users circulated an old video of Late Libyan President Muammar al-Gaddafi talking about Turkey’s ambitions in Libya and its betrayal of Libyans.
“In 912, Turkey gave us away to Italy in return for an island in the Aegean Sea...Hundreds of years later, Libya had become an Ottoman colony before it was occupied by Italy...If you do not want to be enslaved again, be strong not by adopting [some features of the Western lifestyle] but by training on the use of arms, securing the coasts, and by unifying the Arab nation,” Gaddafi said. The assassinated president highlighted that Turkey did not treat Libyans equally as fellow Muslim but perceived them as unworthy Arabs.
Libya’s Government of National Accord (GNA) requested on Thursday Turkish military intervention providing air, ground, and sea support to its militias in Tripoli against the attempts of the Libyan National Army (LNA) to capture the capital.
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, 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, the LNA has been attempting to enter Tripoli and captured Mitiga airport for days. The LNA currently controls the majority of Libya’s territories while GNA’s militias occupy the northwestern corner of the country sharing borders with Tunisia. Some relatively small districts in the south are held by tribal militias. The LNA is backed by the Libyan House of Representatives and the government based in Tobruk eastern the country.
Chief of Staff of the Libyan Naval Force Faraj al-Mahdawi said on December 22 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.
Additional reporting by Noha El Tawil
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