May 31 2019

Libya’s LNA accuses Turkey of training Tripoli’s forces

The Libyan National Army (LNA) accused Turkey of training armed militias loyal to Fayez al-Sarraj’s Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli, Asharq Al-Awsat reported on Thursday. 

The eastern-based LNA, led by Khalifa Haftar and supported by Turkey’s regional rivals Egypt, Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states, has accused Turkey of funding and arming Islamist factions in Libya fighting on the side of the Tripoli-based GNA. 

Turkey has denied any involvement in the shipments of arms to Libya, which, if true, would mean it has violated an international arms embargo.

The Arab Weekly reported on Sunday that Turkey on May 18 sent a large shipment of military equipment to Islamist militias controlling Tripoli and fighting against LNA.  

According to Asharq Al-Awsat, the LNA media unit released video footage of military officials from Turkey training armed militias loyal to Sarraj. The video, which was found on the phone of a detainee, showed Turkish officers setting up military operations rooms, the newspaper quoted the LNA media unit as saying.

Maritime news site Fleetmon said on Wednesday that Moldova Maritime Authorities had lifted the right of a cargo ship used in the May 18 shipment to fly the flag of Moldova Republic. The cargo ship named Amazon left Tripoli on May 20 and returned to Turkey’s Samsun port on the Black sea on May 27, the news site said. 

Pro-Kurdish Mezopotampya News Agency on Friday quoted a member of the International Libya Strategic Consultation Centre, a group affiliated to the LNA, as saying that Turkey had also been sending Islamic State (ISIS) militants by ship to Libya.