Libya: LNA Downs Two Turkish Drones in Tripoli
The Libyan National Army (LNA) led by Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar announced it has shot down two Turkish drones in Souk al-Khamis, south of Tripoli, during the past 24 hours.
Commander of LNA’s western military operations room, Maj. Gen. al-Mabrouk al-Ghazwi confirmed the downing of a Turkish drone south of Tripoli after it took off from “Turkish base in Mitiga,” saying it was a violation of the ceasefire declared in the region.
LNA spokesman, Maj. Gen. Ahmed al-Mismari quoted Ghazwi as confirming his units’ readiness to deal with any threat that puts the security and safety of the capital and forces at risk.
Meanwhile, Russia accused Turkey of helping foreign fighters in crossing to Libyan territories, according to its Deputy Foreign Minister, Mikhail Bogdanov.
Russian media quoted Bogdanov as saying that Moscow does not see any indication of the willingness of the warring parties in Libya to implement the military and political decisions reached at the Berlin conference last month.
Bogdanov said he saw there was no indication that either of the warring parties supported “the basic principles” for resolving the crisis, with regard to military and political developments.
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said he would brief Security Council members on the progress made in implementing the conclusions of the Berlin Libya Conference on Libya, as well as that of the follow-up meeting on Libyan affairs held in Munich.
In a statement published by the office of the German Foreign Ministry before traveling to New York, Maas added that “the international community cannot stand idle in the face of the disastrous humanitarian situation.”
He indicated that members of the Security Council will talk about how further escalation can be avoided and access to humanitarian assistance ensured.
The United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) stresses the importance of launching the Libyan political dialogue in Geneva.
However, House of Representatives (HoR) spokesman Abdullah Bleihaq assured Asharq Al-Awsat that there is no official representative of the council in the negotiations, pointing out that the delegation of five parliamentarians returned from Geneva.
The Media advisor to HoR Speaker, Fathi al-Marimi, said that the House suspended its participation in the Geneva dialogue as a result of the UN mission’s failure to respond to its questions and concerns regarding the names of independents, dialogue axes, and duration.
For his part, Eastern Libya’s foreign minister, Abdulhadi Lahweej, pointed that his government, parallel to the internationally recognized, did not agree with UNSMIL to form the delegation.
He explained in press statements his government could not force eastern tribesmen to lift an oil blockade that he said was a “popular decision.”
“We cannot use our power to lift the blockade,” Lahweej said, alleging that the Tripoli government was using revenues from oil to pay for thousands of mercenaries he said have come from Syria to help them.