Libya/Turkey flight and shipping ban


Eastern Libyan forces loyal to commander Khalifa Haftar will ban commercial flights from Libya to Turkey and Turkish ships from docking in the country, spokesman Ahmed Mismari said.

Turkey supports Libya’s internationally recognised government in Tripoli which last week dealt a blow to eastern forces trying to seize the capital in a three-month campaign.

Aircraft from Turkey attempting to land in Tripoli would be treated as hostile, said Mismari. The same would apply to Turkish ships docking at Libyan ports.

He said the Libyan National Army (LNA) would attack any Turkish military presence, without elaborating.

Turkey supplied drones and trucks to forces allied to Tripoli Prime Minister Fayez al-Serraj, while the LNA received support from the United Arab Emirates and Egypt, according to diplomats.

The LNA, allied to a parallel government in the east, failed to take Tripoli but commands air superiority. It attacked Tripoli’s only functioning airport several times.

Mismari said his forces lost 43 soldiers in the battle over Gharyan which Tripoli forces took last Wednesday.

Gharyan was the LNA main forward base where troops, weapons and ammunition arrived. The LNA began its Tripoli campaign there.

The LNA still holds Tarhouna south-east of Tripoli, its second main position in the campaign.