By Janet Ekstract
ISTANBUL (TURKISH JOURNAL) – On Sunday, the Turkish Foreign Ministry condemned a sudden airstrike by Haftar forces on a Libyan military academy, south of Tripoli. At least 30 students were killed and scores more injured in the strike that targeted the dormitory.
Libya ‘s Health Ministry spokesman Fawzi Unayyis told the press the death toll will likely rise due to numerous injured students.
Khalifa Haftar, a self-styled warlord backed by Egypt, the UAE, Russia and France has consistently directed sudden military attacks on numerous major Libyan infrastructure including airports, hospitals, refugee centers, residential neighborhoods, an equestrian school and now the military academy.
In a statement, the Turkish Foreign Ministry made it clear that it’s crucial the international community take the required steps immediately to halt Haftar’s attacks and to initiate a ceasefire in Libya, ending external support given to Haftar by outside nations. The ministry said it will continue to remain in solidarity with the UN-backed and internationally recognized Government of National Accord (GNA).
Meanwhile, The National Defense Ministry of Turkey also sharply condemned the airstrike and said: “We strongly condemn the Haftar forces., the enemies of peace on the Military Academy in Tripoli, aiming to realizability their unlawful intentions.”
Libya’s GNA urged international action to halt the attacks on civilians by eastern Libyan forces led by Haftar. Libya’s foreign ministry issued a statement on Sunday: “This brutal, cowardly act (in Tripoli) shows to the whole world that Haftar’s militias are not fighting terrorism as they claim, but are committed and violating international humanitarian law.” Also, within the statement is a request by Libyan Foreign Minister Mohamed Sayiala directing the Libyan Mission to the United Nations to convene an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council to condemn Haftar’s crimes in Tripoli.
The Turkish parliament passed a resolution allowing fior deployment of troops in Libya for one year to respond to threats from other terror groups targeting Turkey and Libya’s national interests.There is also a provision to provide security in Libya in the event of a mass migration to provide Libyans with humanitarian aid. According to reports from the UN,’ more than 1,000 people were killed and at least 5,000 injured.