Turkey is a “sponsor of terrorism;” its President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has supports the Government of National Accord (GNA) in “its war” against the Libyan National Army (LNA)’s advance in the western region, the LNA spokesperson Ahmed al-Mismari said Wednesday.
In a Benghazi press conference, Mismari added the eastern army is fighting terrorism sponsored by different states that support the GNA, as the latter has relied on militias in its battle for Tripoli.
He explained the LNA has countered the most-wanted terrorist leaders, emphasizing that after uprooting terrorism from Libya and the Maghreb as a whole, the Mediterranean Sea and all countries overlooking it would be “free of terrorism.”
As for the military operation in the western region, the army engaged in fierce fighting in al-Sibiya area to “eliminate terrorists.”
Some former prisoners from Sudan and Chad were fighting alongside armed groups, he claimed.
Turkey has been aggressively searching for an economic and military role in Africa after the establishment of a base in Somalia in late 2017. Chadian President Idriss Deby visited Ankara in February, where he officially announced an agreement to strengthen this coordination between the two countries.
Under the agreement, the two countries cooperate in the “fight against terrorism” by deploying 200 soldiers from the Chadian Presidential Guard in Turkey over four stages to attend special training that lasts for 90 days.
As Turkey’s influence is increasing in some countries surrounding Libya, there is growing concern over the role played by Ankara in the past years in the Libyan conflict.
A number of weapon shipments coming from Turkey have been seized at different Libyan ports in recent months, but the reaction of the LNA has been more critical of Turkey than the GNA.