Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

LNA Forces Strengthen Advances in Tripoli, Threaten Turkey

LNA Forces Strengthen Advances in Tripoli, Threaten Turkey

Friday, 20 December, 2019 - 09:45

The Libyan National Army (LNA), led by Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, has secured more advances towards the heart of the Libyan capital, Tripoli.

Reports spoke of LNA army units arriving at one of the capital’s largest districts, known as the Abu Salim neighborhood-- army spokesman Ahmed Al-Mismari called on militias in the area to surrender.

On the other hand, Major General Faraj Mahdawi, head of the LNA Naval Forces, said that his forces are cooperating with the Greek navy to monitor Turkish ships around the clock.

Mahdawi vowed to “immediately deal with any ship suspected of heading to west Libya cities, in particular, Misrata and Tripoli.”

Speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat, Mahdawi said that although sinking suspicious Turkish ships remains an open option, it is much better to seize those vessels along with their cargo.

“The arrest of these irregular ships will prove to the world the seriousness of our warnings against Turkey transferring weapons and terrorist elements to Libya.”

“Out of our belief in our capabilities and strength, as well as the experiences and competencies that our ranks hold, we issued our warnings to target and drown any ship that threatens our national security,” he added.

Libya's Tripoli-based government, headed by Fayez Al-Sarraj, had activated a new pact for military cooperation with Turkey.

It held an emergency meeting with military commanders on confronting the wide-scale offensive by LNA troops seeking to regain control of Tripoli.

After the meeting, the officials unanimously accepted the activation of the pact.

On Nov. 27, Ankara and Tripoli reached two separate memorandums of understanding (MoU), one on military cooperation and the other on maritime boundaries of countries in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Following the military cooperation deal, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Ankara might consider sending troops to Libya if the Tripoli government made such a request.

Editor Picks