Turkey vows 'heavy price' in case of any aggression by Libya's Haftar
Iran Press TV
Sun Jun 30, 2019 05:45PM
Turkey's Defense Minister Hulusi Akar says Ankara will retaliate against any attack by militia fighting for renegade Libyan General Khalifa Haftar, who has ordered to target Turkish interests in Libya.
"There will be a very heavy price for hostile attitudes or attacks. We will retaliate in the most effective and strong way," Turkish state news agency Anadolu quoted Akar as saying in reference to potential attacks by Haftar's forces.
"It should be known that we have taken all kinds of measures to deal with any threat or antagonistic action against Turkey," he added.
The minister also said Turkey's efforts in Libya sought to "contribute to peace and stability in the region."
Haftar has ordered his self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA) to target Turkish ships and companies, ban Turkish flights, and arrest Turkish nationals in Libya.
Turkey supports Libya's internationally-recognized government in Tripoli, which has been under assault by Haftar's forces trying to seize the capital for three months.
Turkey has supplied drones and trucks to the forces allied to UN-backed Prime Minister Fayez al-Serraj, while the LNA has received support from the United Arab Emirates and Egypt, according to diplomats.
Libyan government forces recently dealt a major blow to the LNA by retaking the strategic town of Gharyan, a supply line for Haftar's forces on the Tripoli front.
Haftar's offensive has upended UN-led plans to stabilize Libya after years of conflict that have left the oil-rich nation divided and caused living standards to plummet.
Libya has been the scene of increasing violence since 2011, when former dictator Muammar Gaddafi was toppled from power after an uprising and a NATO military intervention. His ouster created a huge power vacuum, leading to chaos and the emergence of numerous militant outfits, including the Daesh terrorist group.
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