20:47 GMT29 March 2020
Listen Live
    World
    Get short URL
    2100
    Subscribe

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Turkey smuggles Syria-based militants from Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly known as Al-Nusra Front), and Daesh* to Libya via Tunisia, the Libyan National Army (LNA) spokesman told Egypt's El-Watan newspaper on Wednesday.

    In this week's interview, Aref Ali Nayed, an envoy for the eastern Libyan government, said that he possessed "credible" information that militants from the aforementioned terrorist groups were being shipped to Libya via the port city of Misrata to fight the LNA.

    "Certainly, militants of Daesh and Al-Nusra Front were smuggled from Syria with the mediation of Turkish intelligence. A large number of militants. This is a very serious issue because one of Tunisian airports is used – the airport [on the island of] Djerba, where the landing of terrorist groups in Tunisia takes place. They are shipped to Libya via Jabal al Gharbi [the mountainous districts in northwestern Libya]", Ahmed Mismari said.

    According to the LNA spokesman, the Libyan airports of Misrata, Zuwara, and Mitiga have received a large number of Daesh and Al-Nusra Front terrorists.

    Libya has been split between two rival governments since 2011 when its long-time leader Muammar Gaddafi was overthrown and killed, with Khalifa Haftar's LNA controlling the east and the Government of National Accord (GNA) controlling the country's west. 

    Turkey, a GNA supporter, has repeatedly vowed to stand by the UN-backed government in Tripoli and provided military aid to protect the GNA. Recently, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said that Ankara will send troops to Libya should Tripoli ask.

    Earlier in November, Turkey signed a memorandum on military cooperation with the Tripoli-based administration, triggering a backlash from the rival Tobruk-based government in the east. Among other things, the document provides for military support between the sides.

    *Al-Nusra Front (also known as Jabhat al-Nusra, Jabhat Fatah al-Sham, or al-Qaeda in Syria) and Daesh (also known as ISIS/ISIL/IS) are terrorist organisations outlawed in Russia and many other countries.

    Tags:
    Erdogan, Daesh, Al-Nusra Front, terrorists, militants, Tunisia, Khalifa Haftar, Libya, Turkey
    Community standardsDiscussion
    Comment via SputnikComment via Facebook