Turkey ready to send troops to Libya: Erdogan

Atta Ur Rehman KhanWeb Editor & Columnist

26th Dec, 2019. 07:13 pm

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday that the Turkish parliament will vote on deploying troops in Libya in early January.

A corresponding bill will be filed in and put to a vote on January 7, as soon as lawmakers come back from the winter recess, Erdogan said.

In his Thursday’s speech, which followed a visit to Tunisia on Wednesday, the Turkish president said the two countries agreed to back Libya’s UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA), based in Libya’s west, in Tripoli.

That agreement, which came into force on Thursday, allows Ankara to send military and security personnel to Libya for training purposes, according to Turkish officials.

But a separate motion is needed to send boots on the ground. The Turkish parliament in October passed another motion to deploy troops in Iraq and Syria for another year.

“We have given and will give all forms of support to the Tripoli government which is fighting against a putschist general backed by Arab countries and Europeans,” Erdogan said.

The Turkish leader has in recent weeks vowed to increase military support to the GNA if needed as it battles Haftar, who launched an offensive in April to seize the capital.

Erdogan on Wednesday paid an unannounced visit to Tunisia with his defence minister and spy chief to discuss ways of reaching a ceasefire in Libya.

The initial group could include special forces along with military intelligence and liaison officers, he commented.
“Since 2016, the Turkish Armed Forces have gained a considerable level of experience in such efforts thanks to the Syrian campaigns.”

The Turkish military has launched three incursions into Syria as part of a campaign against Syrian Kurdish forces.

Turkey rejected the US demand for ceasefire in Syria

Earlier, Turkey says they will test Russian S-400 defense system despite of US pressure.

As part of the Air Defense System project, the Ankara Governor’s Office on Nov. 24 announced that high- and low-altitude test flights would be performed by F-16s and other aircraft on Nov. 25 and Nov. 26.

Ankara’s purchase of the S-400s has been a major factor souring relations with the United States, which says the system is not compatible with NATO defenses and poses a threat to Lockheed Martin’s F-35 stealth fighter jets.

The provincial governor’s office announced on Sunday that the Turkish Air Force F-16s and other aircraft will conduct low- and high-altitude flights over Ankara on Monday and Tuesday to test an air defense system project.


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