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Turkey Deploys More Troops And Equipment In Preparation Of Sirte Push

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Turkey Deploys More Troops And Equipment In Preparation Of Sirte Push

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On July 16th, spokesperson of the Libyan National Army (LNA), Brigadier General Ahmed al-Mesmari said that Turkey was pushing more mercenaries and equipment into Libya.

According to him, there were some rumors that Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar’s forces had been withdrawing from Sirte and leaving it for Turkey and the Government of National Accord (GNA).

He said those rumors were entirely unfounded.

He vowed that the LNA Air Force and Air Defense were completely prepared to protect and operate on the entire Libyan territory.

He, furthermore, claimed that the Muslim Brotherhood, led by Tunisian Parliament Speaker Rached Ghannouchi was “reeling and about to fall.”

The LNA received a new shipment of APCs and battle tanks.

In a rare occurrence in recent days, the LNA artillery targeted GNA positions in Abu Qurayn, south-east of Misrata.

At that positions, an image was published of a M101 Howitzer in Turkish camo, which was allegedly recently delivered to the GNA.

The Turkish side continues supplying equipment and troops to al-Watiya with its Lockheed C-130 Hercules transport aircraft.

On the diplomatic front, GNA President Fayez al-Sarraj met with Italian Interior Minister Luciana Lamorgese and the two sides discussed joint efforts to reach a suitable conclusion to the conflict in Libya.

The head of Libya’s Presidential Council Fayez Al-Sarraj discussed with Italy’s Interior Minister Luciana Lamorgese preliminary steps to the return of Italian companies to resume work in Libya, plus Italy’s assistance in mine clearance activities.

The US State Department said that Turkey had “inserted itself” in Libya and that it was preparing to march on Sirte.

The U.S. on July 15th imposed sanctions on three individuals and five entities that are linked to Russia’s mythical paramilitary Wagner Group, after accusing the mercenary group of laying landmines in and around Libya’s capital Tripoli.

The sanctions announcement came just hours after U.S. Africa Command accused the Wagner Group of “complicating Libyan cease-fire efforts” by placing mines and other explosive devices in and around Tripoli. It included photos of what appeared to be booby-traps and improvised mines that it said were placed by the Wagner Group.

“The Russian-state sponsored Wagner Group is demonstrating a total disregard for the safety and security of Libyans,” said Africa Command director of operations Maj. Gen. Bradford Gering.

“The Wagner Group’s irresponsible tactics are prolonging the conflict and are responsible for the needless suffering and the deaths of innocent civilians. Russia has the power to stop them, just not the will,” Gering said.

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