Libay's Khalifa Haftar at a meeting in Benghazi in Oct. 2017 (Photo Credit: Esam Omran Al-Fetori, Reuters)

The commander of the Libyan National Army, Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, issued an ultimatum to Turkey about choosing whether to leave peacefully from the lands of Libya or war, considering that “a decisive confrontation between the two sides began to emerge.”

Haftar said on Thursday during a ceremony organized in the city of Benghazi by the General Command of the Libyan National Army on the occasion of the 69th anniversary of Libya’s independence:

“Independence has no value, freedom has no meaning, no security, no peace, and the feet of the Turkish army contaminate our pure land. There is no choice for the enemy. The occupier can only leave peacefully and voluntarily, or by force of arms and strong will.”

He continued: “The era of your colonial illusions is over, and you have to choose whether to leave or war.”

Haftar considered that “Turkey and its mercenaries are continuing to mobilize for the war, a war in which if the first bullet is fired in it, let them prepare for certain death.

He said, “The aggressor did not stop sending mercenaries and weapons of all kinds, declaring war on the Libyans, defying the Libyan will and underestimating human values.”

He added, “There is no peace in the shadow of the colonizer, and with his presence on our land we will take up arms to make peace in our hands and with our free will. We will make it with our heroic army that knows nothing but victory and chased terrorists from Benghazi and the south until he took refuge in the people of Tripoli.”

Haftar called on “the heroic officers and soldiers and all Libyans to prepare as long as Turkey rejects the logic of peace, in order to expel the defective with will and peace.”

Haftar stressed that “the decisive confrontation has begun to appear in the near horizon, with the monitoring of maneuvers and mobilization of Turkish mercenaries and their recruits near the contact lines, the accumulation of weapons and equipment and the building of bases and military operation rooms.”

Turkey is the largest external supporter of the Libyan Government of National Accord in its confrontation with the LNA; they effectively entered the Libyan Conflict in December 2019