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Libya's Haftar calls for attacks on Turkish ships

Haftar has called for an attack on Turkish shipping [Getty]

Date of publication: 29 June, 2019

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Renegade general Khalifa Haftar has called for attacks on Turkish forces in Libya.

Libyan militia leader Khalifa Haftar has ordered his fighters to attack Turkish ships and interests in the country, his spokesman said on Friday.

"Orders have been given to the air force to target Turkish ships and boats in Libyan territorial waters," said General Ahmad al-Mesmari, claiming that Ankara is backing Haftar's rivals.

"Turkish strategic sites, companies and projects belonging to the Turkish state (in Libya) are considered legitimate targets by the armed forces."

Haftar's militia, named as the Libyan National Army, holds eastern Libya and much of the country's south.

His forces launched an offensive to take the capital in early April, but have since lost ground.

Libya's UN-backed government on Thursday recaptured the strategic town of Gharyan, near Tripoli, a government spokesman said.

The UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) has been battling rival forces under the control of rogue General Khalifa Haftar, who launched an offensive to take the capital three months ago.

Gharyan, located some 100km from Tripoli, has been a vital base for Haftar's forces, serving as a key supply route and headquarters.

The GNA spokesperson, Mohammed Gnono, told The New Arab’s Arabic-language service that all of the town had been secured, adding that the chances of Haftar's side taking back control of Gharyan were highly unlikely.

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