The Turkish army’s training and guidance contributed “very significantly” to the recent military success of Libya’s U.N.-backed Government of National Accord (GNA), Turkey’s defense minister has said.
Speaking in an interview with daily Milliyet, Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said that the Turkish soldiers are providing military training, cooperation, and advisory services to forces loyal to Libyan Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj’s GNA.
“After the official invitation by the Sarraj government, we sent some of our armed forces to [Libya]. The GNA members became very successful during their struggle. They truly wrote epics there,” Akar said.
Akar also said that the GNA soldiers used military equipment and weaponry in a “very effective” manner.
“These putschists, those who are against unity and solidarity, lost,” he added, referring to the eastern-based military commander Khalifa Haftar’s forces.
“They lost when they were able to seize Tripoli in one day,” he added.
Akar also underlined that the Turkish military’s help towards the GNA forces had a very “significant” contribution to the latter’s success.
“[The Turkish military] became a guiding light. This drastically shifted the balance [in Libya],” he added.
The minister also underlined that Turkey’s military equipment, which is indigenous up to 70 percent, changed the balances in the region.
“Now, no one will be able to create a solution in Aegean, eastern Mediterranean [and] in Cyprus, without cooperating, discussing, or exchanging information with Turkey,” he said.
“In this context, everyone should know that neither Turkey nor the TSK [Turkish Armed Forces] will not let any fait accompli,” he added.
US, Russia must fulfill commitments in Idlib
When asked about the situation in Syria, where both Russia and the U.S. pledged to drove the YPG/PKK terrorists from the region, Akar said that the TSK will continue to carry out its operations until the “last terrorist is neutralized.”
“We have operation areas in Peace Spring, Euphrates Shield, and Olive Branch. Are there problems there? Yes. [And] we are talking about these with Americans and the Russians,” he said.
“There are agreements. We are behind our promises. We expect Americans and Russians to fulfill their promises with the same sensitivity,” he added.
Akar also said that some “radicals” in Idlib are creating troubles yet there are still terrorists in Tel Rifaat, Manbij, and the Operation Peace Spring area, regardless of the U.S. and Russia’s pledges.
“We expect our counterparts to fulfill their commitments,” he said.