Salame: Turkey and Russia conducted indirect war in Libya

The former UN envoy to Libya, Ghassan Salame, revealed that the United Nations and the Security Council did not do what needed to be done in response to Russia and Turkey bringing in thousands of mercenaries to influence events in the Libyan arena.

During his interview on Sky News Arabia, Salame explained that Russia had a role in the military scene in Libya, and in conjunction with that, the direct Turkish military presence that drives the Hawk anti-aircraft batteries has emerged in western Libya.

The former UN envoy stated that Ankara had brought mercenaries from Syria to plunge them into the military conflict inside Libya, and to help the side it supports, which was the Government of National Accord.

Salame highlighted that despite this indirect conflict between Ankara and Moscow on Libyan soil, a direct confrontation between the two sides did not take place on the ground.

He pointed out that some advanced Russian weapons remained in western Libya after Turkey tightened its grip there; adding that Ankara handed over these weapons to the Russians after mediation by Washington.

On the relationship between Turkey and Russia at the current stage; the former UN envoy revealed that it is as close as possible to the nature of the relationship between them in the 19th century, when there is competition, disharmony and clash on the level of several fronts, such as northern Syria and Libya.

He expressed his conviction that although the two parties are keen to maintain a good level of relations, the nature of the relationship between them is likely to explode through the Ukraine front.

Salame said Turkey had provided the Ukrainian side with modern Bayraktar-2 drones, which caused Russian dissatisfaction.

He added that the complexity of relations between the two countries makes them keen not to reach the stage of comprehensive confrontation or to cut all the threads connecting them, noting that the two countries agree on the need to confront Washington’s attempts to enhance its influence in the Middle East.

Salame described this stage as a “power loss,” which began with the Americans’ onslaught on Iraq in 2003, then Russia’s war in Georgia, pointing out further to the tension between China and Taiwan.

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