The Libyan National Army General Command issued the following statement on Saturday morning:
“While the Libyan National Army forces are fighting terrorism on the Libyan territory, our country has been under Turkish logistical support for years, and these days this has evolved into direct Turkish intervention by using warplanes, transporting mercenaries, and sending ships loaded with arms, ammunition, and armored vehicles to support terrorism in Libya.
Therefore, the General Command of the Libyan National Army has ordered the Air Force to target Turkish ships and boats within Libya’s territorial waters. The Interim Government must expel all Turkish companies operating in Libya and terminate their operations in all projects on Libyan territory, boycotting the Turkish industries and products, and stop civil flights to and from Turkey to Libyan airports as a response to this Turkish terrorist aggression.”
Spokesman for Libyan National Army (LNA) Commander Khalifa Haftar, General Ahmed Al-Mismari, warned that Turkish planes and ships approaching the Libyan coast would be ‘considered enemies’ and targeted, while speaking to the press in Benghazi in footage provided by the LNA on Saturday.
“An order was issued by the air force commander to target the approaching Turkish ships and any vessels in Libyan regional waters whether east or west of the country,: said Al-Mismari.
“The Turkish targets are considered an enemy target, the Turkish locations in front of you now are considered enemies, they must be recaptured, returned to the country, and nationalised.
The spokesman also said all civilian flights from Libya to Turkey will be stopped, adding:
“This procedure – and I am addressing the Turkish people who brought Erdogan to Istanbul- is due to [Turkish President] Erdogan’s intervention in Libya, a wrongful intervention, an intervention for the interest of Turkish militias on the ground, we are ready for it.”
The orders come after the LNA said on Friday that it had shot down a Government of National Accord (GNA) drone near Tripoli, saying that the UAV had been manufactured in Turkey.
Al-Mahjoub: Turkish Operations Room is the one leading GNA militias in Tripoli
Khaled al-Mahjoub, the spokesman for Tripoli’s operations room of the Libyan National Army (LNA), said that there is a Turkish operations room that leads the battles of Islamist groups allied with Fayez al-Sarraj’s government in Tripoli.
In statements to The Libyan Address Journal on Friday, al-Mahjoub said the Turkish operations room consists of a number of Turkish officers of high ranks in the Turkish army, explaining that these officers give instructions to the militias allied with the al-Sarraj during the battles against the Libyan National Army in the neighborhoods south of Tripoli.
Al-Mahjoub said that intelligence information confirmed that the Turkish operations room moved from al-Mahari Hotel to Mitiga Airport in central Tripoli. It uses the Mitiga civilian airport for military purposes, which is a war crime under International Humanitarian Law which criminalizes the use of civilian facilities for military purposes.
Al-Mahjoub added that the Turkish operations room in Tripoli also used Turkish-made drones to prepare for air strikes by aircrafts taking off from the Air College in Misurata, led by mercenaries, after Libyan air force officers refused to fly under the command of Islamist militias controlling Misurata and Tripoli.
Last month, a number of Turkish armored vehicles have been delivered to al-Serraj forces via Tripoli Sea Port, just days after a controversial statement by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in which he said he would do everything he can to prevent the LNA’s advance towards the capital Tripoli and expelling Islamist militias controlling the city since the fall of the former government in 2011.