Turkey has delivered dozens of armoured vehicles to forces loyal to the Government of National Accord (GNA) in the Libyan capital of Tripoli photos released by Libyan sources on May 18 revealed.
The photos show more than 20 Turkish-made BMC Kirpi mine-resistant ambush protected (MRAP) vehicles being unloaded in Tripoli’s main port.
The BMC Kirpi has STANAG 4569 Level 3 armour, five firing ports and four bulletproof windows on each side of the troop compartment. The ones delivered to GNA forces appear to be equipped with remotely controlled weapon stations and IED jamming systems.
According to Libyan sources, a Moldavian cargo ship named “AMAZON” transported the vehicles from the Turkish port of Samsun to Tripoli. The ship is reportedly managed by a Turkish company named AKDENİZ RORO SEA.
Aegean Hawk, a Twitter account that observes naval traffic in the Aegean sea, released photos showing AMAZON crossing the Chios Strait en route to Tripoli on May 15.
Ro-Ro cargo ??Amazon southbound #Chios Strait from #Samsun port in #Turkey to #Tripoli in #Lebanon with covered cargo on upper deck
Amazon stopped also in #Dikili and #Izmir ports. pic.twitter.com/EK387m81a2
— AegeanHawk (@AegeanHawk) May 15, 2019
Turkey as well as Qatar are known for being the main backers of the internationally-recognized GNA. However, this was the first time Ankara was coughed while delivering weapons to its allies in Libya.
The delivery of these armored vehicles is a clear violation of the arms embargo imposed on Libya by the U.N. Security Council (UNSC) since February of 2011. This act could lead to a crisis between Turkey and the main backers of the Libyan National Army (LNA), Egypt and the UAE.