Libya: Marshal Haftar loses Gharyan HQ and Declares War on Turkey

Strategika 51

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From Strategika 51 – translated by Steve Brown for FRN –

Our assessment of the situation in Libya proved to be correct. Turkish military support for the Tripoli government (GNA) has upset the calculations of the countries supporting Marshal Khalifa Haftar.

Haftar and the LNA have failed to advance on Tripoli, and Haftar’s forces remain stuck about ten kilometers from the headquarters of the Government of National Accord.

Turkish military support for the GNA  was provided by a discreet airlift and multiple sea shuttles. Turkey purchases cheap oil — at lower than international market prices — from Libya.

LNA forces in Tobruk (Cyrenaica) are angry at Ankara’s active role supporting the GNA, and Marshal Haftar has ordered that any Turkish aircraft or ship in Libyan territory must be shot down.

He also ordered the targeting of Turkish economic and strategic interests in Libya.

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“Turkish strategic sites, companies and projects owned by the Turkish state (in Libya) are considered legitimate targets by the armed forces”.

==  Official Spokesman of Marshal Khalifa Haftar

Libyan and private airlines provide regular service to Turkey from Tripoli and Misrata airports in Tripolitania, and Turkish airlines often use unmarked planes for special cargo.

Haftar even ordered his air force to target cargo planes and Turkish ships within Libyan territorial airspace and territorial sea limits, but his forces do not control all Libyan airspace. Foreign-flagged Turkish tankers have already been fired on by anti-aircraft and Grad rockets, but the Turkish naval escort’s response has deterred further attacks.

GNA forces in Tripoli, backed by Turkish special forces units called “the volunteers” and members of the fearsome “Gray Wolves” from Anatolia, have managed several strikes and were able to seize the Gharyan base (79 kilometers south-west of Tripoli) with the help of the powerful Zenten tribes, aided by Algerian electronic coverage, whose capabilities are very advanced. Gharyan was the headquarters for Haftar’s forces in Tripolitania, and the starting point for his offensive verusus Tripoli and the GNA.

Marshal Haftar enjoys the support of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, France and Egypt, and specifically accuses Turkey and Qatar of supporting his rivals in Tripolitania. The war in Libya involves one dozen nations.

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