Al-Mismari: Turkey Continues to Strengthen its Military Presence in Western Libya

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On Tuesday, the spokesman for the Libyan National Army (LNA), Major General Ahmed Al Mismari, stated that Turkey was continuing to strengthen its military presence in western Libya. In fact, Ankara has disregarded all international demands to end the flow of weapons to the North African country.

In an interview with Sky News Arabia, Al-Mismari said that Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, continues to transfer more weapons, military equipment, and mercenaries to Libya by aircraft, and commercial ships. This is in flagrant violation to international agreements and conferences that stress the necessity of banning the transfer of weapons to Libya.

The LNA spokesman explained that many military bases in western Libya, have come under the direct, and full control of Turkish forces. For months, the Turkish government has been sending mercenaries from Syria to Tripoli, to fight alongside the Government of National Accord (GNA) against the LNA. He added that Turkey paid and offered citizenship to thousands of these fighters once they returned from the battlefront.

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights’ (SOHR) statistics, the number of recruits who arrived in Libya has risen to nearly 17,300 fighters, including 350 child soldiers under the age of 18. 6,000 are reported to have returned to Syria after the fulfilment of their contracts.