Erdogan’s Islamist Adviser Says Haftar’s Declaration Has Not Considered Turkey’s Support for GNA – Al Marsad

Turkish President’s Advisor, Yasin Aktay said that the unilateral declaration by the General Command of the Libyan Armed Forces of its withdrawal from the UN-brokered Skhirat Political Agreement and transfer of power in Libya is inconsistent with the reality on the ground, accusing regional countries of instructing Haftar to take this step, as he claimed.

[Libya, 29 April 2020] – Speaking to the Russian News Agency Sputnik on Tuesday, the Islamist advisor Yasin Aktay said: “Haftar is an illegitimate figure. Some Arab countries have dealt with him because of the power he possessed, but now with such unilateral declaration, he lost everything he has.”

Aktay believed that what he described as the “defeat and loss” of “Haftar” (Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, Field Marshal Haftar) in the field have brought him there, as he put it.

He claimed that the Haftar exploited the preoccupation of the world’s countries, including Turkey, with fighting the novel coronavirus pandemic to achieve his “ambitions to seize Tripoli” (the advance of the armed forces to the capital). “He wrongly thought that this would go unheeded. This move does correspond to the Berlin Skhirat agreements he had already signed,” added Erdogan’s adviser.

“Haftar did not consider Turkey and the legitimate support it provides to the GNA. The joint forces started a counter-attack and have managed to clear seven cities along the coastal strip extending from Tripoli to Tunisia of Haftar’s forces. Currently, they are advancing to Tarhunah and its fall is a matter of time”.

He added: “The Head of the High Council of the State in Libya, Khaled Al-Mishri, confirmed that the military operations against Haftar’s forces will not stop.”

Aktay continued his allegations, saying: “Haftar’s withdrawal from the Skhirat agreement and transfer of power in Libya is a desperate attempt after his recent losses. He aims to divide Libya after he failed to control it. To this end, he dissolved the Tobruk Parliament, which was in his way for legitimacy and dialogue, and carried out a coup against it through this campaign. He plans to seize the eastern part of Libya, if not on the entire Libyan territory, but his schemes will fail,” argued Aktay.

“Haftar took this move to divide Libya on 25 April, which coincides with the constitutional amendment made by late Libyan King Idris El-Senussi in 1963 to establish the United Kingdom of Libya. It may be that Haftar’s declaration of the transfer of power on this date came by chance, but this coincidence is meaningful.”

In response to a question about the steps Turkey will take regarding the action of the General Command of the Libyan Armed Forces, Aktay said: “Turkey provides the necessary support to the GNA under the agreement concluded between the two parties. The GNA is the only legitimate representative of Libya and Turkey recognizes it and does not recognize Haftar. Declaring himself a de facto ruler of Libya unilaterally is inconsistent with the field development because all his forces are being uprooted and his military power is being destroyed. His withdrawal and departure are a matter of time. Turkey will continue to support the GNA against Haftar and will not hesitate to step up such support.”

Regarding Russia’s invitation to the Libyan parties to reconcile, Aktay said: “Haftar should be called to stop his attacks and withdraw instead of calling for national reconciliation. The situation in Libya is not that of two parties at odds over a matter and they rely on the people to settle their differences. It is too late for the calls for reconciliation and the international community must recognize the legitimate force of Libya and support it against Haftar.”

“Haftar is losing his strength and his end will be a trial before the International Criminal Court,” he concluded.

The Islamist advisor to Erdogan did not mention the Syrian militants and extremists that Turkey has been shipping to Libya to support GNA forces. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has stated that over 5,300 Syrian fighters, many with links to jhadis, are now in Libya supporting the GNA and the a new batch of 2,100 is receiving training at Turkish camps for deployment in Libya.

© Al Marsad English (2020)