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AUGUST 2020

Turkey Works On Establishing Permanent Base At Libya’s Al-Watiya

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Turkey Works On Establishing Permanent Base At Libya's Al-Watiya

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On July 2nd, a video was published purportedly showing the deployment of a medium-range MIM-23 Hawk air defense system, presumably, to al-Watiya airbase.

Al-Watiya was recently captured by the Government of National Accord’s (GNA) forces, together with their Turkish support from Haftar’s forces.

According to Turkish publication Yeni Safak, Turkey is to reorganize the GNA’s forces, as well as establish two permanent military bases in Libya. One of them is reportedly al-Watiya, which is to be used as a base to launch drone strikes from.

The other base is Misrata, where the permanent deployment of Turkish warships is expected.

Meanwhile, the US State Department urged Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA) to stop cooperating with the mythical Wagner PMC. The legendary Russian contractor allegedly has nearly 2,000 mercenaries in the country, and they are all fighting on behalf of Haftar.

During the videoconference of representatives of the State Department and the LNA, the disbandment of armed groups under the leadership of Haftar was also discussed.

They key topic, however, was how to stop the blockade on oil production in Libya.

On July 2nd, the French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves le Drian spoke over the phone with the Head of the GNA Fayez Al-Sarraj.

The French diplomat expressed concerns about the tensions in Libya, calling for ceasefire so that Libyans can resume the political process under the auspices of the UN.

Al-Sarraj told the French Foreign Minister that what is happening now isn’t a geoup of political initiatives to find solutions for the Libyan crisis but a group of maneuvers to give new roles to certain figures.

Al-Sarraj spoke with le Drian about the mass graves unearthed by GNA forces in Tarhouna, planting of mines and other atrocities discovered in the areas where Haftar’s forces were positioned, in addition to the efforts to reopen oil production, according to Al-Sarraj’s media office.

“Italy and France agree on the need for a ceasefire and Paris totally rejects all types and sources of external interventions in Libya,” the French Foreign Minister explained.

While Al-Sarraj remarked that Libya needs elections and they should be the essence of the political process, adding that the clarity of the political process will be enough to “take us away from the military solution”.

“Oil blockades must end. They are depriving Libyans of their main source of income as Libya has lost over the years over quarter of a trillion dollars due to the such reckless acts.” Al-Sarraj explained.

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