Libya’s Haftar ‘nothing but a pirate’: Erdogan

Self-proclaimed Libyan National Army (LNA) Chief of Staff, Khalifa Haftar. (Filippo Monteforte / AFP)
Updated 04 July 2019

Libya’s Haftar ‘nothing but a pirate’: Erdogan

  • Turkey supports the internationally recognized national unity government in Tripoli
  • Six Turkish sailors were briefly detained by General Haftar’s forces this week after he blamed Turkey for his loss of a key town

ISTANBUL: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan dismissed Libyan warlord Khalifa Haftar as “nothing but a pirate” in comments published Thursday amid rising tensions in the North African country.
Turkey supports the internationally recognized national unity government in Tripoli, which Haftar has been trying to overthrow from his base in the east of the country.
Six Turkish sailors were briefly detained by General Haftar’s forces this week after he blamed Turkey for his loss of a key town.
“Haftar is nothing but a pirate,” Erdogan told reporters in comments published in several local newspapers.
“We hope that in a short while an opportunity for Libya to hold elections emerges and the people take the chance to represent their rights democratically,” he added.
Erdogan confirmed in June that Turkey was provided weapons to the Tripoli government, saying it was necessary to “rebalance” the fight against Haftar, who has the backing of Turkey’s rivals, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates.


Afghan, US forces kill Taliban governors, fighters

Updated 16 September 2019

Afghan, US forces kill Taliban governors, fighters

  • Joint operations planned to prevent attacks ahead of polls

KABUL: Afghan forces backed by US forces killed two senior Taliban leaders and at least 38 fighters of the hard-line insurgent group in joint airstrikes conducted in northern and western regions of Afghanistan, officials said on Sunday.

The operations, launched on Saturday night, were aimed at foiling attacks planned by the Taliban on Afghan forces, said a senior security official in capital Kabul, adding that clashes have escalated following the collapse of diplomatic talks between the US and the Taliban.

The Defense Ministry in a statement said that the Taliban’s designate governor for northern Samangan province, Mawlavi Nooruddin, was killed along with four fighters in an airstrike in Dara-e-Soof Payeen district.

But the Taliban denied the governor had been killed.

“He (Nooruddin) is alive,” said Zabihullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesman said in a statement.

HIGHLIGHT

Taliban deny the governor of Samangan province had been killed.

Last week, insurgents killed four Afghan special force members in a car bomb blast.

Afghan officials say around 100,000 members of the country’s security forces are ready for polling day.

In a separate incident, Mullah Sayed Azim, a Taliban designate governor for Anar Dara district in western Farah was killed in a joint Afghan and foreign force raid.

“Sayed Azim was killed along with 34 other insurgents in Anar Dara,” said Mohibullah Mohib, a spokesman for Farah provincial police.

Senior security officials in Kabul said several joint operations will be launched against Taliban and Daesh fighters to prevent attacks on Afghan forces and civilians ahead of the presidential polls on Sept. 28.

Fighting picked up in several parts of Afghanistan last week after US President Donald Trump’s abrupt cancelation of talks with the Taliban aimed at withdrawing US troops and opening the way to end to 18 year-long war in Afghanistan. 

 

Troops for polling day

Afghan officials say around 100,000 members of the country’s security forces are ready for polling day. Nasrat Rahimi, spokesman for the Interior Ministry said on Sunday that 72,000 security personnel will be on duty around the 4,942 polling centers across Afghanistan while nearly 30,000 additional troops will serve as reserve units.

Defense Ministry spokesman Rohullah Ahmadzai said security forces have recently taken back eight districts from the Taliban and that operations are underway to secure around 20 others.