On the evening of January 29th, the Libyan National Army (LNA) spokesperson Brigadier General Ahmed al-Mesmari gave a press conference.
المؤتمر الصحفي للناطق بإسم القائد العام
Posted by الناطق الرسمي باسم القيادة العامة للقوات المسلحة العربية الليبية on Wednesday, January 29, 2020
In the beginning al-Mesmari said that the LNA received a lot of questions regarding the “5+5 Committee” proposed at the international conference on Libya that took place on January 19th in Berlin.
The UN special representative for Libya Ghassan Salame said that 5 representatives from the UN-assigned Government of National Accord and 5 from Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar’s LNA would meet in Geneva in the week between January 27th and February 2nd.
Regarding the proposed 5+5 Military Commission to ensure the ceasefire, Salame said: “I have the five names from Mr Sarraj and the five names from Mr Haftar to have this joint commission meet as soon as possible so that the truce that has been called for by the two presidents [Erdogan and Putin] by the end of January becomes a full-fledged ceasefire.”
At the Berlin conference, they agreed to a three-point plan – including the economic and financial, military and political track, he said.
Al-Mesmari on his part said that there had been no information that could be shared with the public yet, either due to it being too early to share with the media, or that there is no development yet.
Regarding the closure of the oil fields and the blocking of Libyan oil exports, al-Mesmari once again said that the LNA was not the party responsible for blocking them, so he could provide no comment.
“This is the decision of the people and you should look for answers from them.”
He reiterated that the LNA controlled the majority of Libyan territory, especially after Sirte was taken from GNA forces. He said that the great support the LNA receives from the people is evidence of the legitimacy of the operations.
He said that Turkey has deployed a large number of troops and militants to Misrata.
“Our intelligence confirms the presence of a large number of militants and Turkish forces on the borders of Misrata Municipality. The Misrata militias reinforced their ranks with terrorists from Syria.”
He said that the LNA was still keeping its positions in Tripoli, and the Turkish-backed militants were trying to shell the troops, but were rather harming civilians.
“These mercenaries are trying to attack our forces on the outskirts of Tripoli, but we are responding with small operations.”
According to him the Turkish intervention has become quite obvious to the population itself, as well as to the international community, and it’s nature has also become apparent.
“Many dangerous terrorists arrive via Misrata Airport, Mitig Airport and seaports along the route Syria – Turkey – Libya.”
And he said that this is just the beginning:
“According to our intelligence, Turkey intends to transfer the coastal zone of Libya to groups affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood and Al Qaeda. Also, the Turks delivered to the southwest of the capital, into the desert, dangerous ISIS militants. We hope that the international community will search for these ISIS militants and will not take their eyes off them.”
He said that the GNA doesn’t represent the people, and that currently there are approximately 3,000 terrorists from Syria who were transported by Turkey to Libya.
He confirmed that Turkish navy warships escorted a cargo ship to the port of Tripoli and that the LNA was ready to fight and expel the Turkish forces at any given moment.
“Mitiga Airport has become the Turkish air base in Libya. Everything there is controlled by the Turks. No Libyan official can even sign a paper without permission from the Turks at first.
Turkey harbors Libyan terrorists recognized as such by a number of international organizations and especially wanted by them.
The Turkish President is trying to blackmail Europe with the threat of terrorism and illegal immigration.
The Turkish President seeks to divide Libya and jeopardize the security of Egypt and the entire region.”
It should be reminded that Mitiga Airport is where Turkey reportedly placed air defense systems earlier in January, as evidenced by footage.
On the side of the GNA and its propaganda campaign, together with Ankara, Turkey blamed France over the situation in Libya, following an accusation by French President Emmanuel Macron towards Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
The operations on the ground seem rather low-intensity as of the evening of January 29th, with rare reports of LNA destroying GNA vehicles and nothing more intensive.
MORE ON THE TOPIC:
- Turkish Warships Off The Coast of Libya, As Erdogan Vows to Counter Haftar’s Forces
- Military Situation In Libya On January 27, 2020 (Map Update)