[Why Spend $54 Billion More on the Pentagon? To Start a War, Obviously.] [Is the Pentagon moving to block ISIS or Russia in N. Africa (SEE: Russia Has Bought-In To the Libyan War, Siding w/Gen. Khalifa Haftar)?] The Pentagon wants to keep ground troops in Libya and go on offense in Somalia
[Both Egypt and UAE have recently been implicated in mystery airstrikes against Tripoli militants.] Bombs Explode Near Egyptian, United Arab Emirates Embassies In Tripoli The wreckage of a car, which was destroyed when a bomb exploded, is pictured next to the Egyptian embassy in the Libyan capital of Tripoli November 13, 2014. Credit: Reuters/Stringer TRIPOLI
Both sides accuse each other of using foreign mercenaries and receiving military support from external powers, despite a UN arms embargo in place since the 2011 NATO-backed uprising that overthrew Moamer Kadhafi’s regime.
Haftar has the backing of the UAE and Egypt and accuses Turkey and Qatar of supporting the GNA.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has confirmed his country backs the GNA and provides weapons to it under a “military cooperation agreement”….
…Mesmari said orders had been given to the LNA’s air force “to target Turkish ships and boats in Libyan territorial waters”.
“Turkish strategic sites, companies and projects belonging to the Turkish state (in Libya) are considered legitimate targets by the armed forces,” he added.
“All Turkish nationals on Libyan territory will be arrested (and) all flights to and from Turkey will be banned”.
Libyan media airs footage appearing to show markings that indicate the weapons were originally sold to the UAE in 2008.
“The GNA is fostering its forces defending Tripoli with armored vehicles, ammunition and quality weapons,”
“The GNA is fostering its forces defending Tripoli with armored vehicles, ammunition and quality weapons,” the pro-GNA coalition said on one of its Facebook page, without giving further details about the origin of the military equipment.
Pictures and videos posted by the coalition on its Facebook pages showed what appeared to be dozens of Turkish-made BMC Kirpi armored vehicles in Tripoli port.
The GNA and the Turkish Embassy could not immediately be reached for comment.
Earlier this month, a Tripoli government spokesman said his administration was talking to its ally Turkey to obtain “anything that is needed to stop the assault,” including military and civilian help.
The LNA, which is allied to a rival administration in eastern Libya, launched an offensive to control Tripoli in early April. As the fighting drags on, 75,000 people have fled their homes and 126 civilians have been killed, according to the latest U.N. figures.
Since 2014, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Egypt have provided the LNA with military equipment such as aircraft and helicopters, helping Haftar to gain the upper hand in Libya’s eight-year conflict, according to previous U.N. reports.
Turkey and Qatar are at loggerheads with the UAE, Egypt and Saudi Arabia over several regional issues including support for the Muslim Brotherhood.