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Haftar Promises ‘Surprises’ to End Erdogan’s Ambitions in Libya

Haftar Promises ‘Surprises’ to End Erdogan’s Ambitions in Libya

Tuesday, 26 May, 2020 - 05:15
LNA commander Khalifa Haftar attends a military parade in the eastern city of Benghazi on May 7, 2018. (Getty Images)
Cairo – Khaled Mahmoud

The Libyan National Army (LNA), commanded by Khalifa Haftar, declared it will soon “end the dreams” of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, promising that “major surprises” were in store for him in Libya.

LNA spokesman Ahmed al-Mismari said the military will end Erdogan’s ambitions in Libya “in days.” He did not elaborate.

“The war is ongoing and we refuse for some sides to speak of declaring victory here or there due to the tactical withdrawal of our forces,” he told a press conference in Benghazi on Sunday.

“Our operations have not ended yet and what is in store is the destruction of all of Erdogan’s dreams,” he vowed. “Fighting the Turkish colonization is a holy duty for each honorable Libyan.”

Mismari spoke of “many turning points” in recent battles, revealing that the LNA had restored command over the sky in several areas after it had downed over 13 Turkish drones in recent days.

The LNA has not retreated from its areas, but it has redeployed as part of a clear military plan, he clarified.

On the ground, the LNA announced the arrest of a notorious Syrian ISIS member near the capital Tripoli. It identified him as Mohammed al-Ruwaidani, also known as Abou Bakr al-Ruwaidani. It said that he was transferred from Syria to Libya by Turkish intelligence.

Mismari presented the media with photos of Ruwaidani after his arrest, saying he was fighting for a militia aligned with the Government of National Accord.

“This is evidence of Erdogan’s ties with ISIS and extremist groups,” charged the spokesman.

Hours after the arrest, ISIS claimed responsibility for an attack that targeted an LNA vehicle at the entrance of the southern town of Taraghin.

Separately, the GNA operations command announced that alleged Russian mercenaries were withdrawing with their heavy equipment from the capital to the airport of Bani Walid, a town some 150 km (93 miles) southeast of Tripoli.

It claimed that they were fighting for the LNA.

Salem Alaywan, Bani Walid’s mayor, told Reuters the Russians had now been flown out of western Libya to Jufra, a remote central district and LNA stronghold.

Mismari refuted the allegations that foreigners were fighting with the LNA.

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