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Libyan Army Accuses Turkish Officers of Training GNA Forces

Libyan Army Accuses Turkish Officers of Training GNA Forces

Thursday, 30 May, 2019 - 08:30
A fighter loyal to the GNA fires a heavy machine gun as a press photographer take pictures of the scene during clashes with the LNA, on May 25, 2019, in the Airport Road Area, south of the Libyan capital Tripoli. Mahmud TURKIA / AFP

The Libyan National Army (LNA) has revealed that Turkish military and intelligence officers are training armed militias loyal to Fayez al-Sarraj’s Government of National Accord (GNA) to take part in the battles raging since April 4 in Tripoli.

The United States and Egypt called for calm as LNA Commander Khalifa Haftar pressed ahead in his offensive on the Libyan capital

According to the State Department, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo addressed the crisis in Libya during a phone call with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry.

The two discussed "the urgent need to achieve a political solution in Libya and prevent further escalation," State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said.

In the battlefield, LNA’s Karama operations media center said that an airstrike carried out by Sarraj’s forces on Tuesday led to the partial destruction of houses and vehicles.

The center accused GNA-backed terrorist militias of targeting residential areas that have thrown their support behind the army in its operation to liberate Tripoli.

In its statement, the center considered these activities as crimes against humanity, saying the perpetrators should be held accountable.

It added that the army was accurate in its air strikes to avoid casualties among civilians.

Earlier in the morning, fierce clashes erupted between the army and Sarraj’s forces on the fronts of Ain Zara and Wadi Alrabie south of Tripoli. The army announced arresting seven members of Misrata militias in an operation in Ain Zara.

Meanwhile, the LNA media unit released video footage of military officials from Turkey training armed militias loyal to Sarraj.

The video, which was found on the phone of a detainee, showed Turkish officers setting up military operations rooms, said the unit.

Moreover, the LNA accused the Muslim Brotherhood of recruiting mercenaries to fight alongside Sarraj’s government.

Spokesman of the GNA Military Region Colonel Mohammed Qannouno declared that the air force launched on Tuesday five combat missions that targeted LNA sites. Qannouno didn’t give further details.

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