A damaged container is seen at Tripoli port after an attack, Libya February 19, 2020. REUTERS/Ismail Zitouny
CAIRO - 23 February 2020: Head of the Mobilization Department at the Libyan National Army (LNA) Khaled al-Mahgoub told Russia Today that the number of Turkish military personnel killed in Libya by the Armed Forces is 16 until present, while that of mercenaries brought by the Middle Eastern state is 105.
“We promise the Turkish president more,” Mahgoub added. The military man told Sky News Arabia that Turkish consultants and officers have been leading operations launched by the militias and piloting drones, and that they were located in Misrata, Sirte, and others. "LNA targeted a number of those while entering Tripoli through Falah camp," he stated.
Sources told Al Arabiya that an LNA shelling of Tripoli seaport killed three Turkish commanders. On February 18, the LNA had targeted a Turkish ship carrying weapons and ammunition while docked at the port, and a hanger where arms brought by Turkey are stored. The hanger was located in Tripoli seaport as well.
CAIRO - 18 February 2020: The Libyan National Army (LNA) led by Khalifa Haftar on Tuesday announced destroying a Turkish ship in the Port of Tripoli, in the capital, which it said was carrying weapons and ammunition.
The LNA is set to terminate Turkish presence in Libya as well as end militias' role in the country.
MOSCOW - 21 February 2020: Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, the Commander of the Libyan National Army (LNA), has set out conditions to ensure a ceasefire in the country. The Syrian and Turkish mercenaries must pull out from the country and Ankara must halt the supply of arms to Tripoli, Haftar said in an interview with Sputnik news agency on Friday.
The Government of National Accord (GNA) called upon the United States to establish a military base western the country to counter Russia’s ambitions, as stated by Minister of Interior Fathy Bashagha to Bloomberg on Friday.
“Libya is important in the Mediterranean. It has oil, a 1,900-kilometer coast and ports which allow Russia to view it as the gate to Africa,” Bashagha told Bloomberg. “If the U.S. asks for a base, as the Libyan Government we wouldn’t mind -- for fighting terrorism, organized crime and keeping foreign countries that intervene at a distance. An American base would lead to stability,” he explained.
The agency reported that the United States currently has 6,000 soldiers in Africa, including those securing diplomatic entities, amid plans to reduce military presence in the continent. However, a source revealed that the decision is being reviewed to face Russian and Chinese goals.
The National Oil Corporation (NOC) announced on February 17 it has sustained losses worth $1.6 billion since the closure of oil ports and fields by LNA in January in order to cut funding to GNA that hires militants for protection.
CAIRO - 18 January 2020: Spokesperson of the Libyan National Army (LNA) Ahmed al-Mesmary announced on Saturday that the move of oil ports and fields shutdown was made by Libyan people and that it is the Armed Forces' duty to protect citizens.
The Libyan National Army (LNA) declared on January 27 that it lies 100 kilometers away from Misrata’s center and that fighting broke out in southern Tripoli in Al Hadaba and Abu Salim.
Sky News Arabia reported that, in parallel, mercenary militants brought by Turkey from Syria to Libya to join the militias of the Government of National Accord (GNA) are fleeing to Europe. The number of militants who left for Italy is 47, according to LNA. Seventeen of those left from Tripoli Port as the cost of smuggling an individual rose from $700 to $1,300 over this week.
The network reported that the LNA arrested a man that turned out to be an IS militant, who escaped a Syrian-Democratic-Forces prison amid a strike by Turkey in October. The LNA also arrested five others, who were about to leave for Italy from Al Zawya coastal city. Four of those knew each other in Syria and met the fifth on a plane from Istanbul to Libya. Sky News Arabia added that at least 147 mercenaries made down payments to migrate to Europe soon.
As reported by AP, the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSML) released a statement on Saturday saying that several countries who participated in the Berlin conference have broken the arms embargo.
CAIRO - 1 February 2020: The arms embargo violations persist in Libya amid the denouncement of the international community. Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) Ghassan Salame decried on Thursday the presence of foreign militants in the country without indicating their nationalities stating that the arms embargo violations recorded 110.
“Over the last ten days, numerous cargos and other flights have been observed landing at Libyan airports in the western and eastern parts of the country, providing the parties with advanced weapons, armored vehicles, advisers and fighters,” the UN statement read according to AP.
Spokesperson of LNA told Sky News Arabia January 26 that Turkey is bringing Nusra Front militants from Syria to Libya at a rapid pace, and that combating terrorism and criminal militias is not a violation of the truce declared on January 12.
The recommendation of the Berlin conference held on January 19 is that no foreign country shall interfere in the Libyan issue.