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Lybia: Haftar’s forces down Turkish drone, arrest Turks

Lybia: Haftar’s forces down Turkish drone, arrest Turks

General Haftar’s forces reported on downing the Turkish drone in Tripoli, two Turkish nationals were arrested on Sunday.

Two Turks were arrested in Tripoli over Ankara’s support for “militias” in Libya after the two sides exchanged severe warnings. According to the official statement, air traffic was halted on Sunday in Tripoli, where the only civilian airport and the airbase Mitiga functioned.

Turkey has called arrest a ‘piracy’ and warned that there would be consequences if they are not immediately released.

“The detention of six of our citizens by illegal militia forces linked to Haftar is an act of thuggery and piracy. We expect our citizens to be immediately released,” the foreign ministry said in a statement.

Turkey warns it will retaliate against any attack by militia fighting for General Haftar, who has ordered to target Turkish interests in Libya.

The Lybian strongman Haftar accuses Ankara of backing his rivals during the ongoing conflict in Libya. He has ordered his self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA) to target Turkish ships and companies, ban Turkish flights, and arrest Turkish nationals in Libya.

While Haftar’s LNA relies on the support of the United Arab Emirates and Egypt, Ankara supports Libya’s internationally-recognized government in Tripoli. Turkey supplies drones and trucks to the forces allied to UN-backed Prime Minister Fayez al-Serraj.

Haftar’s offensive has upended UN-led plans to stabilize Libya after years of conflict that have left the oil-rich nation divided and caused living standards to plummet.

Since 2011 when Muammar Gaddafi died, Libya remains the scene of increasing violence. The former Lybian ruler’s ouster created a huge power vacuum, leading to economic collapse and the emergence of numerous militant outfits like ISIS.