BEIRUT, LEBANON (12:10 P.M.) – On Saturday, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar traveled to Libya, accompanied by the Chief of Staff and army commanders.
Earlier in the day, Libyan media said that the Turkish Defense Minister had arrived in the capital, Tripoli, on an unannounced visit, following the ultimatum to leave Libya peacefully or by force from the commander of the Libyan National Army (LNA), Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar.
Libyan sources said that Akar changed his destination at the last moment from Al-Watiyah Airbase to Mitiga Airport, adding that he was scheduled to visit the military college in the Al-Hadba area to attend a military ceremony.
On Friday, the Turkish Ministry of Defense announced that its forces had organized training for members of the Libyan forces of the Government of National Accord to train with heavy weapons.
The ministry said, in a statement, that its forces “continue to guarantee the training of the Libyan army within the framework of the training, cooperation and military consultations” agreement signed between Ankara and Tripoli.
As stated above, the LNA leader issued an ultimatum to Turkey, which threatened the possibility of war if Ankara refuses to depart from the North African nation.
Turkey is the largest external supporter of the Government of National Accord, as they have provided military advisers and weapons to the latter in their war with the LNA.