Lebanese Media Says Turkey Will Relocate 200 Syrian Militants to Libya – Al Marsad

Al-Mayadeen Lebanese satellite television channel posted a tweet yesterday stating that Turkey withdrew 200 armed fighters from Syrian opposition armed groups aligned with Ankara from eastern Euphrates to send them to Libya, adding that the flight departure from Istanbul Atatürk Airport was to be at 1.00 am.

[Libya, 25 December 2019] – Al-Mayadeen, a television news network close to the Syrian government in Damascus and the Syrian Arab Army revealed that Ankara asked pro-Turkey Syrian factions to prepare the militants to transport them to Libya, and the first batch included 60 armed men from each faction.

Turkey’s request came in conjunction with the announcement by the Syrian Arab Army that its troops have cleared up more than 320 square kilometers of land, and entered more than 40 towns and villages in South and Southeastern Idlib after pushing back the Levant Liberation Council or the Al-Nusra Front from their long-held military positions in the region.

In the meantime, Turkish Presidential Spokesman Ibrahim Kalin informed reporters yesterday that the Turkish parliament is considering authorizing troop deployment to Libya. “There might be a need for an authorization in line with the developments over there. The Parliament is conducting work on this issue,” Kalin said.

In the same context, the Chairman of the Presidential Council, Fayez al-Sarraj, said that at the present time Tripoli aims at procuring Turkish tanks and drones.

Al-Sarraj told  Corriere della Sera in an interview published on Monday that “the Libyan government has no alternative but to seek military assistance from Turkey.”

The Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has previously announced Ankara’s intention to raise the level of military support for the Government of National Accord (GNA), “if necessary”, after he had stated on 10 December that he was ready to send his soldiers to Libya if the GNA  requested such support.

Ankara and Tripoli signed two MOUs on 27 November relating to security and military cooperation and the demarcation of maritime borders and jurisdiction areas.

Turkish Parliament recently ratified the memorandum of military cooperation concluded with the GNA, while the latter agreed to activate the memorandum, after a ministerial meeting ignoring the legislative authorities. Today, during an unannounced visit to Tunisia, Erdogan stressed again his readiness to send Turkish soldiers to Libya.

In October 2014, the Turkish parliament backed a motion that could allow its military to enter Iraq and Syria. This parliamentarian mandate remained in effect for one year, and was annually renewed in the period between 2015 and 2019.

© Al Marsad English (2019)

 

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