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Ankara Won’t Leave Libya’: LNA Warns Following Turkish Frigate Visit To GNA Port

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A Turkish Navy frigate has paid a visit to a Libyan port controlled by the Government of National Accord (GNA), the Libyan National Army (LNA) announced on January 13.

In a press briefing, Maj. Gen. Ahmed al-Mesmari, a spokesman for the LNA, said the frigate visited the port of Khoms, 105 km to the east of the GNA-held capital Tripoli, on January 4. The vessel left on the same day.

Last week, military observers shared on Twitter rsatellite images showing the Turkish vessel, a G-class frigate, inside Khoms port on January 4.

During his press briefing, Maj. Gen. al-Mesmari also warned that Turkey is working to solidify its control over al-Watiya Air Base in western Libya.

“Ankara will not leave Libya, neither through negotiations nor mediation,” the LNA spokesman warned.

Satellite images from last December revealed that two aprons, each with marks for six aircraft, were painted on the eastern and western parts of the air base. Turkey also deployed dozens of vehicles in the air base.

Last year, a number of reports revealed that Turkey is planning to establish two permanent bases for its troops in Libya, with one of them being al-Watiya Air Base.

Turkey’s military buildup in Libya may soon lead to a new confrontation. The LNA with a direct help from Egypt and the UAE appears to be determined to stop Ankara from entrenching itself in the country. The army’s backers, mainly Egypt and the UAE, share the same stand.

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