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SEPTEMBER 2020

Ceasefire Broken in Libya, as Thousands of ISIS Militants Are Transferred to the Country

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Ceasefire Broken in Libya, as Thousands of ISIS Militants Are Transferred to the Country

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On January 14th, Aguila Saleh Issa, President of the Libyan House of Representatives, announced that the Russia-Turkish brokered ceasefire in Libya has fallen through.

The UN-assigned Government of National Accord’s (GNA) head Fayez al-Sarraj and the Libyan National Army (LNA) commander Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar were in Moscow to negotiate the terms of the ceasefire.

However, Haftar departed Russia without signing the deal, saying that its terms were unacceptable for the LNA and the democratically elected House of Representatives.

Haftar furthermore said that according to him, the only acceptable outcome would be if the militias under the GNA hand over their arms within 45 or 90 days, and that is how a ceasefire would be reached.

In addition, he demanded that this process take place under the full control of the LNA, which plans to create a special commission together with the UN, which will take into account the collection of arms from the militia members.

Among other things, according to the channel, Haftar completely rejected Turkey as an international mediator in the Libyan settlement.

“He insists that the intermediary states be neutral and proceed from the need to maintain stability in Libya, and not support the armed police or send extremists [to Libya,” TASS reported.

A source in the GNA, cited by Turkish state outlet Anadolu Agency, said that the LNA was amassing forces, once again, to renew the offensive on Tripoli.

“Haftar’s army is drawing up forces south of Tripoli to stage another attack,” the source was quoted as saying.

On the side of the GNA, President of the council Fayez al-Sarraj returned to Libya and said that the UN-assigned government would act with all of its forces and representatives, be it in peace or war.

Egypt is currently carrying out the Qader 2020 military exercise, which is regarded as a sort of show of force against Turkey’s involvement in the Libyan conflict.

On the ground in Libya, the LNA said that it had repaired 3 MiG-23 fighter jets and they are re-entering service in the fight against the GNA.

Any new weapons, or repaired old ones would be welcome, sine the King of Jordan warned that thousands of ISIS fighters have left Idlib, through Turkey to join the fight in support of the GNA.

It comes down to speculation, but it could also be that Turkey expected for Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar to reject the ceasefire, but simply wanted to win some time to deploy more militants to Libya, to fight on behalf of the GNA.

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