The Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has admitted for the first time that pro-Turkish Syrians are fighting in Libya alongside military trainers dispatched by Ankara.
“Turkey is there with a training force. There are also people from the Syrian National Army,” Erdogan told reporters in Istanbul on Friday, referring to the group of rebels fighting Syrian regime forces.
Erdogan accused the General Commander of the Libyan National Army Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar of bringing foreign fighters to Libya, without providing any evidence.
Erdogan indicated that Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar “isn’t a party of the dialogue with Turkey as he is illegitimate and illegal”.
This confession by Erdogan to sending Syrian mercenaries to Libya comes after local and international pressure as he was lately subjected to bitter criticism over Ankara’s intervention in Libya in violations of international laws and Berlin conference conclusions.
The Head of Presidential Council Fayez Al-Sarraj said he had the right to enlist help from Turkey as per the military agreement he signed with Erdogan last November.
He told American newspaper, The Times, that his government resorted to Syrian mercenaries due to the support that was given to the LNA in its war on the armed groups seizing control of Tripoli.