The Yeni Safak newspaper, which is close to the Turkish government, revealed that Turkey intends to establish two permanent military bases in Libya.
On Friday, the newspaper quoted “regional sources” as saying that “military cooperation between Libya and Turkey will rise to higher levels,” following the visit of the leader of the Presidential Council of the Libyan Government of National Accord, Fayez al-Sarraj, to Ankara on June 4th.
They explained that “consideration is being given to rebuilding the Al-Watiyah Airbase, in which the infrastructure is being repaired, as well as efforts to clear mines.”
Yeni Safak stated that these efforts aim to be available to build Turkey an airbase, as it is expected to deploy drones and Turkish air defense systems that contributed to the success of the military operations earlier this year.
“Moreover, similar steps will be taken in the port city of Misrata, which overlooks the Mediterranean,” in which a “naval base will be built, while fortifying the base with drones and air defense systems,” the newspaper said.
The newspaper continued: “In conjunction with the Greek provocations in the eastern Mediterranean and the increasing tension there, it requires the presence of Turkish naval forces in the Libyan territorial waters, and accordingly it is believed to convert the Misrata port into a permanent Turkish naval base.”
They added, however, that Turkey will have the “largest share in the extraction of oil there”, noting in this context that “the presence of Turkish warships is necessary to maintain the safety of exploration activities from any potential threats.”
Turkey is the largest external military supporter of the forces of the Libyan Government of National Accord.
They are currently attempting to drive back the Libyan National Army (LNA), which is led by Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, from several areas across the country, including the port-city of Sirte.
Source: Almasdarnews, June 13, 2020