The Libyan National Army (LNA), led by Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, accused Turkey of unlawfully sending military experts and arming militias loyal to Government of National Accord (GNA) headed by Fayez al-Sarraj.
This came in parallel to the eruption of fierce clashes vying for control over the Libyan capital, Tripoli.
On that note, Russian media hinted that Haftar paid a secret visit to Moscow to review ongoing developments in the embattled African state. But no details on the alleged meeting were given.
According to LNA command centers cited in an official army statement, pro-Sarraj paramilitaries were presented with direct support approved by the Turkish parliament.
A Turkish C130 air freight delivered top Turkish military advisors accompanied by a team of experts and a ready-for-action operations room to Misrata, a northwestern district situated 187 km east of Tripoli.
Turkey has already shipped a convoy, dubbed “Amazon,” carrying a arms payload to Libya.
The Ankara-sent shipment docked at Tripoli port coming from Turkey’s port of Samsun in spite of arms embargo imposed by the United Nation to stop the bloodshed in Libya. Reports said the ship had on board 40 armored vehicles to support militias.
As for battle developments, military sources and local residents in Tripoli said fierce battles took place in early Thursday, May 30th, pitting LNA forces against pro-GNA militias, especially in the Ain Zara-Tripoli access. Loud explosions were heard.
LNA intelligence also arrested 7 members of what it labeled a “budding terrorist militia.”
While fighting intensified, Sarraj praised the bravery and efficiency of GNA loyalist paramilitaries, calling their advances a victory for the “state” and a defeat for the “aggressor.”
Citing a lack of trust, Sarraj later noted that there was no room for negotiations with LNA’S Hafter.
In statements made to Italian and Swiss press, Sarraj lauded his government for “merging over a hundred militias into four umbrella paramilitaries.”