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Turkey Begins Turning Libya’s Misrata Into Naval Base

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Turkey Begins Turning Libya's Misrata Into Naval Base

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On August 17th, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar led a delegation to Libya, where the met Qatar’s Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Halid bin Mohammed al-Atiyya and Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA) Deputy Defense Minister Saladin en-Nimrush.

Turkey Begins Turning Libya's Misrata Into Naval Base

Click to see full-size image

The three discussed further deepening of defense cooperation between Turkey and Libya, as well as involving Qatar into the mix.

It was stated that a number of military cooperation agreements were signed during the meetings. In this context, as reported by Al Arabiya, Turkey, Qatar and Libya’s GNA have signed a military cooperation agreement.

Qatar will finance military training centers to be established under the agreement. A trilateral coordination center will be established in Misrata, Libya.

“In addition, the parties agreed to send Qatari military advisers to Libya to train the Libyan military, as well as to provide Libya with places in Turkish and Qatari military schools,” the website of the Al Arabiya TV channel said. The purpose of the agreement is “to increase the combat capability of military units subordinate to the GNA.”

Also, within the scope of the agreement, a Turkish naval base will be established in Misrata.

According to reports, work is being carried out at al-Watiya to turn into a full-fledged Turkish military air base.

There was earlier official announcement by the Turkish side saying that both al-Watiya and Misrata would be provided for operation to the Turkish Armed Forces.

Images from August 13th, showed that a Gabya-class frigate, part of the Turkish Navy could be seen off the coast of Misrata.

There is also a Sikorsky S-70B-28 Seahawk helicopter in the images.

Currently, Turkey is hard at work in deploying UAVs and air defense systems to al-Watiya to reinforce the base for its own use, and the same appears to be going on in Misrata.

When the Naval base is ready, then drilling activities in the Mediterranean Sea by both the GNA and Turkey may begin, under protection from the Turkish base.

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