BEIRUT, LEBANON (9:45 P.M.) – Commenting on the visit of Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar and his chief of staff to the Libyan capital, Tripoli, the Egyptian military expert Major General Samir Ragheb said that the matter suggests that the battle in Sirte is approaching.
Ragheb said in statements to the RT Arabic that there are several indicators that suggest that the battle for Sirte is approaching.
According to Ragheb, the upcoming Turkish-backed operation is one the most important battles in the Libyan conflict, as he called it “the mother of battles”.
Ragheb pointed out that the nature of international reactions about the Turkish presence in Libya increased significantly during the past week, especially the French response to withdraw from the NATO mission in the eastern Mediterranean, which perhaps reflects the presence of French intelligence information about a possible clash with the Turkish side as a result of a military escalation along the southern Mediterranean, especially in Sirte.
He continued: “The Qatari-Turkish media coverage of the Libyan National Army’s military buildup on the front lines west of Sirte, and anonymous and false conversations about Egyptian military movements, sends a message that the military build-up of Al-Wefaq militias comes in response to the mobilization of the other side.”
He said: “The movement of the C-130 Turkish aircraft tracking sites and ships in the direction of the Al-Wefaq airports and air bases coming from Turkish airports reflects a crowd of mercenaries in the thousands, in addition to the numbers that have participated in the operations around Tripoli last month.”
Ragheb added that the Turkish Defense Minister’s visit reveals preparations have been made for the Sirte offensive.
The upcoming battle for Sirte is considered incredibly important because of the foreign players involved.
Egypt has warned that should Sirte and nearby Al-Jafra fall to the Turkish-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) forces, then Cairo has the “international legitimacy” to intervene in Libya.