On January 4, at least 30 people have been killed and 33 others wounded in an attack on a military academy in the Libyan capital, the health ministry of the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA) said.
At the time of the attack, cadets were gathered on a parade ground before going to their dormitories.
The GNA described the incident as ‘an aerial bombing’ and blamed the Libyan National Army (LNA) for it.
The LNA rejects the accusations. Pro-LNA sources claim that the attack was conducted to pro-GNA forces in order to gain the international support.
The pro-Turkish GNA is now facing an attack by LNA forces led by Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar. Ankara, which sees the GNA as an important part of its strategy in Libya, already started deploying soldiers and Turkey-linked military contractors to the country in order to stop the LNA advance on Tripoli.
Turkey has deployed elite soldiers to Libya, Al Jazeera reported citing soures in the pro-Turkish Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA). These reportedly include technicians and specialists in jamming and air defense, as well as advanced weapons.
In typical manner of Turkey’s recent propaganda, the president said Ankara’s objective was “not to fight”, but “to support the legitimate government and avoid a humanitarian tragedy”.
Erdogan said that: “Our soldiers’ duty there is coordination. They will develop the operation centre there. Our soldiers are gradually going right now.”
In response to Turkey’s incoming deployment, Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, the Libyan National Army’s (LNA) commander urged Libyans to take arms against Turkey’s involvement.
On January 6th, the UNSC is to meet behind closed doors and discuss Libya. The meeting is being held at Russia’s request. This will be the first chance of the UNSC members to discuss security and maritime deals struck by Libya and Turkey on November 27th, and Ankara’s subsequent decision to send troops to Libya.
The US embassy in Libya called for an end to “the toxic foreign interference in Libya”, citing “the arrival of Syrian fighters supported by Turkey as well as the deployment of Russian mercenaries”.
There are reports that EU Foreign Ministers are planning a visit to Tripoli on January 7th, and the Misrata Council of Dignitaries and Wisemen rejects it. They claim that the EU plans to allow Khalifa Haftar to determine Libya’s future.
Egypt, on its part, continues its claims of opposition against Turkey’s involvement, but hasn’t announced any concrete actions to ramp up support of the LNA. Regardless, Egypt’s Foreign Ministry warned of repercussions if Turkey deploys troops.