Turkey plans military interference in Libya next month
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.
In response, Russia declared its rejection of the move, saying the interference of a third party would not contribute to coming up with a solution for the crisis. Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov said in a press conference on Thursday that the Libyan situation is worrisome and that Russia prioritizes reaching a peaceful settlement as soon as possible without bloodshed. Peskov added that Russia only supports the mediation of other countries to aid conflicting parties arrive at an agreement.
On Wednesday, Erdogan visited Tunisia to discuss cooperation over endeavors to reach a ceasefire in Libya. The MoU between Turkey and GNA provides the establishment of a Quick Reaction Force, which is a mission of the Libyan National Army (LNA), for the Turkish side to transfer expertise and support pertinent to training, consulting, and planning as well as equipment. When needed, a joint bureau would be formed to achieve cooperation in the sectors of security and defense.
The MoU states that Turkey grants training, technical information, support, development and maintenance, repair, recovery, consultancy, provision of mechanisms, equipment, as well as urban, naval, and air forces, buildings, and training centers on condition that it keeps ownership of them.
The liaison also involves defense industry, drills, exchange of information, border security, and rescue in time of natural disaster, combatting terrorism, illegal migration and smuggling in addition to cooperation on intelligence and operations.
That is in addition to the partnership in the domains of medical services for police and army members, communications systems, electronics, cyber defense, peacekeeping, humanitarian aid operation, combating piracy, exchange of information on maritime and military laws, mapping, hydrography, military and security research, as well as cultural, social, and sports activities, military history, archiving, and maritime security.
The UN-backed non-elected GNA has not reached an agreement with LNA and is protected by militias. Earlier this year, LNA attempted 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.
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.