Haftar Threatens to Target Turkish Ships, Assets in Libya - Reports
Earlier in the week, forces loyal to the Government of National Accord (GNA) announced that they had managed to break up Haftar's months-long advancement towards Tripoli and recapture the town of Gharyan.
Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, who leads the Libyan National Army (LNA), has threatened to attack Turkey's assets in the country for allegedly supporting the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA), AFP reported Saturday.
After the GNA forces recaptured the town of Gharyan, Haftar spokesman General Ahmed al-Mesmari accused Ankara of "directly" intervening in the battle to support the GNA.
Haftar, himself, then ordered the Libyan National Army loyal to him to target Turkish ships, companies, ban flights and arrest Turkish nationals around the country.
Commenting on Haftar's statement, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday that he was not aware of the threats to attack Turkish ships and aircraft in Libya.
"I don't know who gave such orders. I'm not sure if Haftar gave such orders or launched some instructions. We will have it examined by the relevant authorities, who are with us, and we have necessary measures in place. And in future we will have different stance vis-a-vis these developments," Erdogan said at a press conference, held at the end of the G20 summit in Japan's Osaka.
Since early April, the LNA has been engaged in an offensive to gain control over Tripoli to free it from what he called terrorists. As a result, the LNA gained control over the cities of Surman and Garyan. On 7 April, the GNA announced its Volcano of Rage counteroffensive to confront the LNA.
Libya has been in a state of armed conflict since long-time leader Muammar Gaddafi was overthrown in 2011. The eastern part of the country is governed by the parliament, backed by the LNA and located in Tobruk. The GNA, headed by Prime Minister Fayez Sarraj, operates in the country's west and is headquartered in Tripoli.
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