20/07/2020 – Turkey deployed missile launchers and artillery to Libya to support the Government of National Accord (GNA) in a looming battle for the key strategic Mediterranean city of Sirte, Milliyet newspaper reported on Sunday.
The NATO member has transported T-122 Sakarya multiple launch rocket launchers and T-155 Fırtına self-propelled guns, used effectively in military operations in Syria, to positions near Sirte, Milliyet said.
The GNA says it intends to recapture Sirte, a gateway to Libya’s main oil terminals, and the airbase of al-Jufra, located in the oil region, from forces allied to the eastern Libya-based rebel General Khalifa Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA), which is backed by Russia, Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates.
On Saturday, a column of about 200 vehicles moved eastwards from Misrata along the Mediterranean coast towards the town of Tawergha, about a third of the way to Sirte, according to Reuters.
Egypt has warned that it will respond militarily to any attempts to take Sirte or al-Jufra. It has deployed troops and weapons to its western border with Libya and conducted land and sea exercises in preparation for a possible intervention.
The GNA recently recaptured most of the territory held by the LNA in northwest Libya with Turkish support, ending Haftar’s 14-month campaign to take the capital Tripoli.