The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss the rising tensions in the Mediterranean as Turkey has now overtly entered the Libyan conflict, supporting the GNA-Tripoli government.
Erdogan is laying claim to a large swath of the Mediterranean sea, from Turkey’s south to Libya’s western port, covering Greek and Cypriot maritime territory, and irking France, Israel and Egypt in the process.
The Libyan Army’s Chief-of-Staff, Major-General Faraj al-Mahdawi, has revealed an agreement with Greece to block the sea lane linking Crete and the eastern sea borders of Libya to Turkish ships.
Major-General Faraj al-Mahdawi said in a statement to Al-Arabiya that “ there is great coordination between Greece and Libya in order to monitor the movement of Turkish ships for oil or access to the western Libyan ports to deliver weapons to the militias, especially the Misurata port. ”
The Libyan military official also spoke of “the presence of surveillance around the clock and today on the Libyan coast,” noting that “the General Command of the Libyan Army has provided all the necessary equipment and mechanisms for the sea forces to intervene if there is a breach of Libyan waters by Turkish ships and the destruction of any threat” .
The leader of the Libyan National Army (LNA), General Khalifa Haftar, urged in a speech broadcast by Al-Arabiya TV on Thursday that his forces were moving towards the heart of Tripoli, in what he called “the decisive battle” to wrest control over the capital.
The Haftar-led forces began an attack in April to wrest control of Tripoli, but the attack stalled on the outskirts of the city.
Haftar said: “Today we announce the decisive battle and progress towards the heart of the capital … Advance now, my heroes.”,
The Libyan National Army had previously announced decisive progress and military movements, but no concrete changes in the battlefield followed.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.