President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Sunday that Turkish military units had started moving to Libya to support Fayez al-Sarraj’s UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA), based in Tripoli.
Speaking in an interview with broadcaster CNN Turk, Erdogan said Turkey was also sending senior military personnel.
Erdogan said that Turkey and Libya could work with international companies to search for oil and gas in the eastern Mediterranean, following a deal between Ankara and the Tripoli-based government on maritime borders.
In November, Libya’s UN- recognized government in Tripoli and Turkey clinched a deal on drilling for natural gas, in a step Ankara said aimed to defend its rights in the region.
On Saturday, the Libyan National Army said it is ready to “repel the Turkish invasion” and that its navy is prepared to take control of the country’s coastline, LNA spokesperson Major General Ahmed al-Mismari said during a press conference.
US President Donald Trump on Thursday warned his Turkish counterpart against any “foreign interference” in Libya, the White House said, after Turkish lawmakers approved a military deployment to shore up the UN-recognized government in Tripoli.