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Turkey Continues Flights to Libya's Tripoli, Misrata

Turkey Continues Flights to Libya's Tripoli, Misrata

Tuesday, 2 June, 2020 - 09:00
Smoke rises from Mitiga Airport after being attacked in Tripoli, Libya February 28, 2020. (Reuters)
Ankara - Saeed Abdulrazek

Italy's itamilradar website has continued to monitor military flights from Turkey to Libya.

The latest data showed Turkey sending a military cargo plane, a Lockheed C-130E (63-3188), departing Istanbul and heading towards the Libyan capital, Tripoli.

Another Turkish Air Force Lockheed C-130E (71-01468) left Istanbul southbound. The destination of both flights is Misrata, Libya, it said.

On Monday, a Turkish Air Force Boeing E-7T (reg. 13-0001 – callsign TURAF18) of 131st Filo, departed from Konya on a surveillance mission between Malta and Libya, said itamilradar.

The website tracked at least 11 flights from Istanbul to Misrata in the last nine days.

Turkey has been directly offering military support to the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord against an offensive by the Libyan National Army to capture the capital.

Meanwhile, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights revealed on Monday that the Turkish government had sent a new batch of Syrian mercenaries to Libya to fight for the GNA.

The latest 400 fighters bring to 11,600 the total number of mercenaries sent by Ankara to Tripoli.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu telephoned on Sunday vice president of the GNA's presidential council, Ahmed Maiteeq, to discuss the latest developments in Libya, confirmed Turkish diplomatic sources without providing further details.

Separately, Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin stressed in televised remarks that his country would continue to back the GNA, headed by Fayez al-Sarraj, calling on powers backing the LNA, commanded by Khalifa Haftar, to cease their support.

He said Ankara was committed to backing the "legitimate" government until the crisis is over, adding that any project in the Mediterranean region cannot be successful without Turkey.

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