Turkish vessel spotted escorting military shipment to Libya’s Tripoli: Sources
France’s Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier this week spotted a Turkish frigate escorting a cargo ship delivering armored vehicles to the Libyan capital Tripoli in defiance of a UN embargo, a French military source said on Thursday.
The cargo ship Bana docked in Tripoli port on Wednesday, said the source, who asked not to be named, a day after President Emmanuel Macron angered Ankara by accusing his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan of failing “to keep his word” to end meddling in the north African country.
The Libyan National Army (LNA) detected the Turkish shipment which was unloaded in Tripoli’s port on Tuesday evening, according to the spokesperson Maj. Gen. Ahmed al-Mismari.
The spokesperson published a video of what appears to be the Turkish armored vehicles inside the cargo ship on their Facebook page.
In a related development, France is to send war frigates to the eastern Mediterranean to oppose Turkey’s recent moves in the region, a decision that has been welcomed by Greece’s prime minister, according to the Guardian on Wednesday.
On January 19, International leaders who met in Berlin for a peace summit on Libya had vowed to form a multilateral follow-up committee to continue coordination on developments in Libya, according to the conference’s final communique.
Since a 2011 NATO-backed uprising that killed longstanding dictator Muammar Qaddafi, Libya has been plunged into chaos.
It is now divided between the UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) headed by Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj based and rival authorities in the eastern city of Benghazi whose forces, the Libyan National Army (LNA) is headed by commander Khalifa Haftar.
Haftar launched an offensive to capture the Libyan capital of Tripoli in April vowing to end the rule of militias that include hardline groups linked to al-Qaeda and others.
General Haftar has reportedly received support from international allies opposed to extremism and the Muslim Brotherhood.