On Wednesday, the Chief of Staff of the Naval Forces of the Libyan National Army (LNA), Major General Faraj Al-Mahdawi, the General Command, and a member of the Joint Military Committee (5 + 5), stated that allowing Turkey to set up military bases in Misrata and Al-Watiya airbase would result in serious threats to the security of Arab, African and European countries.
In press statements, Al-Mahdawi stressed that Ankara threatened the security of the entire region through its presence in Libya.
He explained the political, military, economic, and strategic importance of these two bases, which Turkey intends to take over.
He pointed out that Ankara’s expansionist plans in Libya aim to protect its strategic interests outside its borders and confront regional competitors by violating Libyan sovereignty.
The Head of the Naval Forces noted that Turkey’s control of these two bases would allow it to seize Libya’s natural wealth.
This is in addition to taking advantage of the geo-strategic importance of Libya, which represents a link between the Maghreb and the Levant, adding that Libya is Africa’s gateway towards the Mediterranean Sea and Europe.
He indicated that Turkey was trying to control the sea and air routes, as well as the land corridors in the region.
Al-Mahdawi claimed that Turkey was also seeking to exploit the Al-Watiya base by providing support to the forces of the Government of National Accord (GNA) in its fight against the Libyan National Army (LNA).
Turkey has engaged in the large-scale recruitment and transfer of thousands of foreign fighters, primarily from Syria, to take part in hostilities in support of the GNA.
Recruited fighters are believed to include members of IS and other extremist groups, as well as a number of child soldiers.