Turkey continues to ignore the UN arms embargo by supplying weapons to the Libyan GNA

By Charalambos Fotiades

Turkey continues to intervene in the Libyan conflict and to support the occupation regime of Fayez Sarraj in Tripoli by supplying weapons and combat equipment to the gangs of Government of National Accord. Thus, Ankara has once again violated the UN embargo and its commitments to resolve the Libyan crisis by dispatching a cargo plane Aerotranscargo – B747 (ER-BBJ), which flew from Istanbul to Misrata airport. Moldovan airline, which transports cargo by air, has already repeatedly transferred weapons from Turkey to Libya as military assistance of the Turkish authorities to the “government of Tripoli”.

Weapons from Turkey to Libya arrive on cargo boards of the Libyan Global Aviation and Service Group (GASG) aircraft owned by Moldova’s Aerotranscargo Airlines. In 2017, this company appeared in the report of the UN expert group as one of several suppliers of air cargo transportation in Eastern Europe, which operated flights that seemed suspicious to the UN. It was assumed that some of them were related to illegal arms transfers.

Idlib scenario

Ankara’s active assistance to the militants in Idlib began in 2018-2019. At that time, Turkey sent dozens of convoys to Idlib with various weapons, which were in the hands not only of pro-Turkish militants, but also radical Islamists.

The Lybian scenario is similar to a Syrian one: Turkey sends the thebrand-new weapons for Libya from official Ankara. Recently the Tripoli’s arsenal was replenished with four Leopard1T tanks, two T-300 Kasirga and various armoured vehicles. With such support the Libyan GNA has maintained a rising trend of provocation by attacking Libyan National Army (LNA) positions and forcing them to return fire. For his part, the LNA official speaker, Major General Ahmad Mismari, assured that the Libyan National Army was maintaining a ceasefire and responding to enemy fire in a targeted manner.

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Having created a real enclave of terrorists in Idlib, Turkey use it not only in Syria but also in Libya. In addition to sending militants to help “partners”, Turkey sends them various weapons.

The LNA has repeatedly accused Turkey of transporting Al-Qaida fighters to Libya. For its part, even Nawasi militia, which is on the side of the GNA recently stated that the Syrians being transferred by Turkey to Libya are members of ISIS. (https://www.addresslibya.co/en/archives/54167).

The Sudanese media have also recently published information that in the last years of Omar Bashir’s presidency, Sudanese intelligence has been training al-Qaeda fighters for the GNA in the war in Libya (https://freewestmedia.com/2020/02/14/al-qaeda-on-the-threshold-of-europe/).

Information on the involvement of Abdel Hakim Belhadj, former leader of the Libyan Fighting Group associated with Al-Qaeda and currently residing in Turkey, in the transfer of fighters from Syria to Libya is also indicative. (https://www.arabobserver.com/what-is-the-role-of-abdel-hakim-belhadj-in-the-transfer-of-syrian-mercenaries-from-turkey-to-libya/).

Thus, in the southern underpinning of Europe, Turkey is creating a well-equipped (up to tanks and heavy artillery) group of militant Islamists. So far, it is made with the tacit assistance of European leaders who prefer to call the Turkish government in Tripoli “internationally recognized”.