On July 6th, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu accused France of supporting Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar and providing a variety of military support to him.
Cavusoglu stated in a joint press conference with the European Union (EU) Foreign Policy Official, Josep Borrell, that France began attacking Turkey after Haftar lost major strategic ground in Libya, “partly due to Turkey’s support of forces aligned with the Government of National Accord (GNA).”
He went on to point out that France was not sincere regarding the Libyan issue, noting that Turkey continues to cooperate with the EU regarding all matters relevant to Libya.
On the same day, Turkish state outlet Anadolu Agency reported, citing local Syrian media, that Russia sent 300 mercenaries (including “former” ISIS members), from the regions under control of President Bashar al-Assad’s in Eastern Syria to fight alongside Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA).
“Russia sent “Shabiha” militias affiliated with the Bashar al-Assad government from Syria’s Deir ez-Zor province and 300 warriors, mostly Syrian, from the Iranian-backed foreign groups — Fatimiyyun, Zeynebiyyun and Jerusalem brigades — to Libya, and paying each $1,000-1,500 monthly.”
Meanwhile, on the ground in Libya, there’s no clashes, following the air strikes on Turkish positions in al-Watiya airbase.
Air strikes were also carried out by the LNA on GNA positions west of Abraak al-Shati.
ضربات جوية تستهدف المليشيات غرب ابراك الشاطئ ..
— اللواء عبدالفتاح يونس (@ahmida_labidi) July 6, 2020
France categorically rejected that it had anything to do with the airstrikes on al-Watiya airbase.
three different places seem to have been targeted in alwatiyah during july 5th airstrikes pic.twitter.com/8KZRZaefKZ
— il kanguru (@il_kanguru) July 6, 2020
#باريس — المتحدث باسم هيئة أركان الجيوش الفرنسية للحدث: لا علاقة لنا بالهجوم على الوطية
— ا لـ حـ ـد ث (@AlHadath) July 6, 2020
Turkey announced that it was actively using its tanker airplanes together with its warplanes to offer support and refueling. So far, Turkey has used only UAV’s but this may signal that it plans to use manned attack aircraft.
?MSB: "Hava Kuvvetlerimiz bünyesinde görev yapan tanker uçaklarımız, havada yakıt ikmali desteği ile hava gücümüzü arttırarak muharip uçaklarımızın daha uzun süre ve uzak mesafelerde görev icra etmesini sağlıyor."pic.twitter.com/w4SY4bTZ1B
— Bedrettin (@bedbolukbasi) July 6, 2020
MORE ON THE TOPIC:
- Military Situation In Libya On July 6, 2020 (Map Update)
- Haftar’s Forces Claim Responsibility For Airstrikes On Turkish Positions At Al-Watiya Airbase