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CAIRO – 23 June 2020: Syrian Deputy Prime Minister Walid al-Moalam affirmed that his country supports the Libyan National Army and Libyan institutions, and values unity, territorial integrity, and sovereignty of Libya.
The Syrian deputy minister pointed out in a press conference on Tuesday that his country backs Egypt in preserving its national security, as reported by SANA.
Moalam's statements come three days after President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi warned Turkey-backed militias affiliated to Tripoli-based Government of National Accord against advancing towards Sirte and Al-Jufrah cities eastern Libya.
The president asserted that Egypt's possible "direct intervention" in Libya is internationally legitimate as requested by the elected Libyan House of Representatives and Libyan tribes, which goes in tandem with the UN Security Council resolutions.
It is noted that Libyan Speaker Aguila Saleh had requested the Egyptian intervention in a visit that took place to Egypt's Parliament in January prior to Berlin Conference.
President Sisi pointed referred to the outcomes of Berlin Conference and the UN Security Council resolutions on Libya that ban arms transfer to different Libyan groups, and prioritize the political solution.
Early in June, President Sisi, the Libyan speaker, and Commander-in-Chief of the Libyan National Army (LNA) Khalifa Haftar issued the Cairo Declaration stipulating the political process should reach a solution to the Libyan crisis.
Spokesperson of the Libyan National Army Ahmed al-Mesmary declared in a press conference held on Sunday evening the closure of airspace over 200 kilometers from eastern Sirte to Hasha town.
The LNA and the Tobruk-based government formed by the elected Libyan House of Representatives supported the warning declared by Egypt's President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi to the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA) backed by Turkey against advancing towards Sirte port city and Al-Jufrah.
LNA's Mobilization Commander Khaled al-Mahgoub stated in a phone-in Sunday that the Libyan House of Representatives and people demand "an Egyptian role on the ground."
After checking on Air Force elements and Special Forces units in the Western Military Zone, particularly in Sidi Barani at Matrouh governorate bordering Libya, President Sisi delivered on June 20 a speech on Libya in the presence of Libyan tribes' representatives and high-ranking commanders of the Egyptian Armed Forces
In December 2019, the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA) and Turkey signed two MoUs on defense and gas drilling eastern the Mediterranean. Turkey sent 1,500 officers and military experts to Libya to co-command the operation rooms of the GNA militias, and has been transporting arms by sea as well.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) had reported that Turkey transported 15,000 Syrian mercenaries into Libya, including 300 minors aged between 14-18, and that the majority of them belong to Sultan Murad armed group. In addition, 1,800 mercenaries arrived to training camps in Turkey before they move to the North African state.
In January, the Libyan National Army (LNA) recovered Sirte from the militias protecting the GNA. Nevertheless, the Libyan Armed Forces lost Oqba bin Nafea airbase in Al-Watiyah district western the country and Tarhouna town, and retreated from Tripoli's outskirts. Yet, the LNA has downed around 70 Turkish drones piloted from the capital's Mitiga Airbase.
In June, Dassault Rafale fighter jets were observed flying over Sirte amid attempts by the GNA militias to enter the city. France negated sending those jets to the North African state.
The GNA is a non-elected government that is recognized by the United Nations. It was formed in accordance with the Skhirat Agreement signed in 2015 to be an interim government, and was supposed to dissolve after 1-2 years. Hence, it is considered unconstitutional, especially that it was not formed by the elected House of Representatives based in Tobruk.
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