Turkish newspaper Yeni Shafak, which is close to the Turkish government, revealed that it intends to establish two permanent military bases on the territory of Libya, where it supports the forces of the National Accord government.
On Friday, the newspaper quoted “regional sources” that “military cooperation between Libya and Turkey will rise to higher levels” after his visit to Ankara on June 4, President of the Presidential Council of the Libyan National Accord Government, Fayez Al Sarraj, where he met the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
The newspaper explained that “consideration is being given to restarting the Al Wattia air force base, in which the infrastructure is being repaired, as well as efforts to clear mines”.
Yeni Shafak stated that these efforts aim to make the brigade available to build Turkey an air base in it, as it is expected to embrace drones and Turkish air defense systems that contributed to the success of the military operations that resulted in the restoration of Tripoli government forces controlling this important military site.
Moreover, similar steps will be taken in the port city of Misurata, which overlooks the Mediterranean Sea, to build a “naval base with the fortification of the patriot base with drones and air systems”.
The newspaper continued: “In conjunction with the Greek provocations in the eastern Mediterranean and the increasing tension there, it requires the presence of Turkish naval forces in the Libyan territorial waters, and accordingly it is believed to convert Misurata port into a permanent Turkish naval base”.
However, that Turkey would have the “largest share in the extraction of oil there”, noting in this context that “the presence of Turkish warships is necessary to maintain the safety of exploration activities from any potential threats”.
Turkey is the largest external military supporter of the forces of the Libyan National Accord government recognized by the United Nations, in a confrontation with the “Libyan National Army” led by Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, who accuses Turkey of supporting terrorism in his country and destabilizing it through military interventions including the transfer of militants from the territory Syria to fight in Libya.
On November 27, 2019, the Tripoli government and the Turkish authorities signed two notes on the demarcation of the maritime border and the strengthening of military-security cooperation between the two parties, and they aroused strong opposition from Haftar, as well as Egypt, Greece, Cyprus and the European Union administration.
The aforementioned parties say that these two documents are illegal, accusing Turkey of seeking to station militarily in Libya and taking advantage of the crisis in the country to seize energy resources in the eastern Mediterranean through a purely economic zone amid increasing differences with neighboring countries.