By Sami Zaptia.
London, 1 July 2019:
The six Turkish nationals detained in Ajdabiya, eastern Libya, were released today after Turkey threatened military action.
The six turned out to be sailors working on a Libyan ship and not military personnel, as had been reported.
The Turkish nationals were detained after eastern Libya authorities cut all ties with Turkey on Friday, threatening to arrest Turkish citizens and target all Turkish interests in Libya, including flights and shipping.
The announcement by eastern Libya came after their Libyan National Army (LNA) forces led by Khalifa Hafter lost the strategic western mountain city of Gharian to a surprise attack by Tripoli-aligned forces.
The Tripoli forces represent the internationally recognized government led by Faiez Serraj.
The mainly eastern based LNA forces accuse Turkey of supporting Tripoli in its war effort against them.
The LNA had launched an attack on Tripoli on 4 April claiming to intend to liberate it from terrorists and militias.
On Saturday, Libya’s internationally-recognized parliament based in the eastern city of Tobruk, the House of Representatives (HoR), had condemned what it called Turkish “intervention” and Turkey’s “declaration of war” on Libya through its participation in the operations of the “extremists militias” by fighting against the LNA and through its supply of arms and logistical support.
The HoR also noted the “sorry silence” of the UN and international community on the matter.
The HoR said that the support of Turkey and Qatar for the extremist, terrorist militias of Tripoli will not stop it from pursuing and cleansing Libya of terrorism, extremism and the public money-grabbing, people-smuggling militias – as they did in Benghazi, the oilfields, Derna, south Libya and western Libya.
HoR condemns: “liquidation” of LNA war prisoners, injured and Turkish participation in fighting
Hafter to target Turkish interests in Libya in his war effort