Marshal Haftar's troops drawn into Tripoli street clashes / News / News agency Inforos
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Marshal Haftar's troops drawn into Tripoli street clashes

The "strange" war in Libya has been underway for eight months

Marshal Haftar's troops drawn into Tripoli street clashes

Units of the 155 infantry battalion of the Libyan National Army (LNA, led by Marshal Khalifa Haftar) are fighting hard on the southern outskirts of the capital, having blocked all the approaches and cutting several major eastern supply routes of the defending forces of the Fayez Sarraj's Government of National Accord.

The LNA command has announced its intention to launch a decisive offensive in Tripoli in the coming days. The primary objective is assigned to the full-strength 166 infantry battalion with all the necessary weapons and military equipment. The offensive will be conducted with the active support of aircraft and artillery.

The highly-experienced unit have taken part in missions to encircle and neutralize militants around the capital's airport and other operations. The command staff and their subordinates have been specially trained in street fighting and are equipped with special types of small arms.

One can assume with high confidence that Marshal Khalifa Haftar ordered the engagement of army forces in street battles by virtue of the emerging political situation around Libya. On October 27, GNA Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj signed two memorandums of intent with the President of Turkey in Istanbul: on joint security and military cooperation and on the sovereignty of maritime areas to protect the rights of both countries. The Libyan government ratified the agreements almost immediately without their being examined by the national parliament...

The parties did not disclose the details of the documents signed, but the mere fact of expanding "mutual understanding" between Turkey and Libya caused great concern with a number of Mediterranean countries.

It is quite natural that signing a military agreement indicates Ankara's intention to disregard numerous UN resolutions and establish a "sea bridge" for large-scale weapon and military equipment supplies to Libya, as well as to organize a hasty transfer of Turkish-loyal troops from Syria to enhance resistance to Haftar's troops. All the more so as the signed document on the protection of maritime areas stipulates a facilitated approach of Turkish cargo ships to the seaports of Tripoli and Misrata.

Earlier, the LNA command imposed a blockade of the sea coast, openly warning Ankara about the infeasibility of Turkish civilian ships with military cargo entering the territorial waters of Libya. However, the Turks are well aware that the Libyan National Army does not have effective military means to protect the coast and combat Turkish warships.

Another memorandum on maritime areas indicates Turkey's intention to withdraw from the agreement of the Mediterranean states regulating the sovereignty of economic zones. Just a little while ago, Recep Erdogan openly declared Turkey's claims to the maritime economic zone of the Republic of Cyprus, where significant hydrocarbon deposits had been discovered. Ankara has voiced its readiness to send special-purpose ships to the sea area to develop and extract mineral deposits...

An abrupt response to Ankara's statements came from Nicosia, Athens and Cairo. The Arab League leadership expressed its adamant disapproval of Erdogan and al-Sarraj, pointing to the non-recognition of the signed memorandum and the preparation of complaints against Turkey to be submitted to the UN. But that's quite a different story for another article...

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