Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar of the Libyan National Army (LNA) announced earlier the beginning of a decisive battle in his campaign to capture Tripoli, which has been underway since last April and has resulted in fierce fighting on the outskirts of the Libyan capital.
In the newly released statement, Haftar declared a general mobilization as a measure to resist foreign intervention.
The Turkish parliament greenlighted on Thursday President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s initiative to send military reinforcements to Libyan allies, who have been under siege since April last year by the eastern-based army of Khalifa Haftar on the soil which was a part of the vast Ottoman Empire until 1911.
After the ouster and assassination of then-Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, the country was plunged into a brutal civil war. Turning the nation into a territory divided between two centers of power – an elected parliament in the country’s east, supported by Haftar’s forces and the UN-backed GNA in the west.
In late December, the western-based GNA requested military assistance from Turkey in the wake of renewed efforts of the rival LNA to capture the capital of Tripoli. Erdogan vowed the support would be sent as soon as in January. Ankara has, however, said that the military assistance could be rolled back if Khaftar gives up his efforts to conquer Tripoli.