Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar has warned the revolutionary Khalifa Haftar and his supporters against any attempt to target Turkish forces in Libya, Al-Jazeera reports.
This came Sunday in a speech to the Turkish forces operating in Libya, where Akar responded to Haftar’s recent threats against Turkey and its forces.
He added, “Let the criminal Haftar and his supporters know that we will consider them a legitimate target in all places after every attempt to attack our forces.”
He stressed that the main problem in Libya is the coup Haftar and his supporters, noting that the Government of National Accord is the legitimate and internationally recognized government in the country.
Regarding Haftar’s crimes in Libya, the Turkish minister pointed to the discovery of 21 mass graves in the Tarhuna region, committed by Haftar’s forces.
He expressed his regret for the silence of the international community over the massacres of the coup Haftar, expressing his confidence that the Libyan government will pursue (before the courts) these crimes against humanity.
He also expressed his hope that the International Criminal Court would continue its investigation into Haftar’s crimes, and hold him accountable before the courts.
The Turkish minister indicated that his country’s forces provide military training and advisory services to the Libyan forces within the framework of understandings between the two countries.
He added that the Turkish army forces provided training for about 3 thousand Libyan soldiers.
He pointed out that the coup Haftar is “a pawn in the hand of external forces,” and has directly threatened the Turkish elements in Libya.
He indicated that the Turkish forces came to the region within the framework of bilateral agreements and at the invitation of the Libyan government.
He stressed that Haftar and those behind him are working in vain in order to forget the world that Turkey is the only country that responded to the call for the help of the victims who were subjected to extermination at the hands of the revolutionary Haftar.
About Haftar, he said: “This alleged marshal believes that buying a military uniform from the market or placing ranks on the shoulders can make him a marshal. These things are a matter of education, experience, courage, and strength.”
He added that Haftar is incompetent and is doing his best to obstruct political solutions on someone’s behalf and cover up his massacres and crimes.
Aggar spoke about the European “Irene” operation in the Mediterranean waters and criticized this process for not coordinating it with the Libyan government.
“They launched a process without coordination and cooperation with the legitimate Libyan government, and without a UN resolution, so this is a biased process with questionable legitimacy, and we cannot accept it,” he said.
On March 31, the European Union launched Operation Irene, to impose an embargo on the supply of weapons to Libya, whose scope is located in the Mediterranean.