Libya's Haftar makes 'call to arms' over possible Turkey intervention

AFP , Saturday 4 Jan 2020

Libyan National Army (LNA) commander Khalifa Haftar has called on all Libyans to take up arms in response to a prospective military intervention from Turkey aimed at shoring up the UN-backed government in Tripoli.

The beleaguered Tripoli government, headed by Fayez Al-Sarraj, has been under attack since April by LNA.

Turkey's parliament on Thursday approved the deployment of troops to Libya after it received a request for military support from Sarraj's elected government.

"We accept the challenge and declare jihad and a call to arms," said Haftar in a televised address on Friday.

He urged "all Libyans" to bear arms, "men and women, soldiers and civilians, to defend our land and our honour".

He said it was no longer a question of liberating Tripoli from the militias, but of "facing a coloniser", accusing Ankara of wanting to "regain control of Libya", a former province of the Ottoman Empire.

Libya has been beset by chaos since a NATO-backed uprising toppled and killed Libya's then president Moamer Kadhafi in 2011.

*This story has been edited by Ahram Online

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