Libyans protest against Haftar’s airstrikes on civilian targets in Tripoli and western region cities
Hundreds of Libyans protested Friday against Khalifa Haftar and his airstrikes on different areas that led to heavy civilian death toll since last April as part of his offensive to take Tripoli from the internationally recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) in Libya.
Civilians gathered in the capital and in Misurata after the call of civil society organizations to protest attacks by Haftar forces and demand protection of the legal government.
Protesters in Tripoli chanted for Egypt, France and the United Arab Emirates to “take their hands of Libya” with posters of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, France’s Emmanuel Macron and Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
In Misurata, banners were held with signs that thanked Turkey’s government and the support of Turks. “The capital of the martyrs Misrata will not bow,” “Yes to Libya-Turkey cooperation,” “Thank you Turkish people” and “We give martyrs, but we do not want military government.”
In April, Haftar’s forces launched a military campaign to capture Tripoli from the GNA, but have so far failed to progress beyond the city’s outskirts.
On November 27, Ankara and Tripoli’s GNA signed two separate agreements, one on military cooperation and another on maritime boundaries of countries in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Following the military cooperation deal, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he might consider sending troops to Libya if the GNA made such a request.
On Thursday, Erdogan said a motion for military support to Libya will be submitted to parliament Jan. 8 or 9 because Turkey was “invited” by Libya.
Libya’s Interior Minister Fathi Bashagha said the GNA will officially demand military aid from Turkey.