Apr 17 2019

Turkey denies reports on transfer of ISIS fighters to Libya

Turkey’s ambassador to Tunisia has denied a report by the local Al-Chourouk newspaper accusing Ankara of sending Islamic State (ISIS) militants from Syria to fight in Libya, Turkish state-run Anadolu news agency reported

The Tunisian daily quoted Ahmad al-Mesmari, a spokesman for the eastern Libyan forces, as saying Turkey was providing weapons and fighters to the Libyan government based in the capital Tripoli in the west. 

Eight years after the 2011 uprising that ended the 42-year rule Libyan despot Muammar Gaddafi, the country is engaged in a civil war and run by two rival administrations, one centred in the capital Tripoli and the other in eastern city of Tobruk. Turkey and Qatar support the government in Tripoli, while their regional rivals Egypt, Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states support the eastern forces.

"The baseless allegations do not serve peace in the region, nor the Tunisian-Turkish relations, but weaken them, especially at a time the entire region needs solidarity," Anadolu quoted the Turkish ambassador to Tunisia, Ömer Faruk Doğan, as saying

Turkey has been accused of funding and arming Islamist factions in Libya despite an international arms embargo, a charge that Turkey denies.