Haftar releases Turks held in eastern Libya less than 24 hours after Ankara vowed action

Erdogan vowed to have a different stance toward the conflict if Haftar kept Turkish hostages in custody. [Photo: Libyan Express]
Six Turkish sailors were freed by their captors – forces loyal to Khalifa Haftar based in eastern Libya – after Ankara threatened to take military action in the conflict-ravaged North African country.

The sailors — who were captured by forces loyal to insurgent general Khalifa Haftar under unclear circumstances — returned to their ship, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said Monday, without elaborating.

This release came less than 24 hours after Turkey’s Foreign Ministry on Sunday threatened that Haftar’s forces “will become legitimate targets” if its citizens weren’t freed.

Haftar used his propaganda media to repeat the narrative that Turkey was backing up “terrorist militias” in Libya, while Turkey had reiterated that it was supporting the internationally-recognized and UN-backed Government of National Accord.

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