Egypt forms navy commando force to attack Turkish ships off Libya

Egypt forms navy commando force to attack Turkish ships off Libya
The Egyptian military has trained Libyan fighters to carry out attacks on Turkish ships in defence of its ally, rogue general Khalifa Haftar.
2 min read
09 March, 2020
Turkey is a key ally of the UN-backed Libyan government [Anadolu]
Egypt has launched a new navy commando force that will work with Libyan militants to block Turkish ships from delivering aid to the internationally-recognised government in Tripoli, Egyptian and Libyan sources have revealed.

The Egyptian military has trained a number of Libyan fighters loyal to rogue general Khalifa Haftar to carry out operations against Turkish navy vessels off the coast of Libya, sources told The New Arab's Arabic-language sister site.

The force, consisting of around 50 fighters who returned to eastern Libya last week, is also supported by the UAE.

Abu Dhabi will supply boats for the mission, which will be supervised by Egyptian naval officers before being handed over to naval forces linked to Haftar, the sources said.

Both Cairo and Abu Dhabi are prominent backers of Haftar and his self-style Libyan National Army (LNA).

Last year, forces loyal to Haftar launched their campaign to seize the capital Tripoli from the UN-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) led by Fayez al-Sarraj.

Turkey signed maritime and military cooperation agreements with the Tripoli-based government last year, with Ankara's deployment of a number of military advisors - in addition to reportedly more than 2,000 Syrian militants - to the country approved by parliament in January.

Haftar's forces have previously vowed to attack Turkish vessels off the coast of Libya.

The United Nations last year condemned a number of international actors, including Turkey, the UAE and Russia, for breaking an arms embargo on Libya.

Moscow is accused of supplying thousands of Wagner Group mercenaries to fight alongside Haftar's forces. Their numbers now exceed 15,000, sources said.

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