Haftar warns Erdogan: Stay out of Libya or you face our bullets

Haftar warns Erdogan: Stay out of Libya or you face our bullets
Gen. Khalifa Haftar accused the Turkish president of “coming to Libya in search of his ancestors’ legacy.” (AFP/File)
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Updated 02 August 2020

Haftar warns Erdogan: Stay out of Libya or you face our bullets

Haftar warns Erdogan: Stay out of Libya or you face our bullets
  • Eastern military strongman tells Turkish president Libyans will never again be colonized

JEDDAH: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was warned on Sunday to keep his forces out of Libya or face an armed response.

The warning came from Libya’s eastern military strongman Gen. Khalifa Haftar, who leads the Libyan National Army (LNA) in the conflict with the Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli, headed by Fayez Al-Sarraj.

Erdogan has sent Turkish-backed mercenaries from Syria to fight for the GNA, along with artillery and heavy weapons that have turned the tide in its favor. In a speech to troops to mark Eid Al-Adha, Haftar accused the Turkish president of “coming to Libya in search of his ancestors’ legacy.”

He said: “We tell him that we will translate the legacy of your ancestors with bullets.” For any Turkish forces in Libya, there would be “no mercy because they do not deserve mercy.”

Libyans would never accept being occupied by Turks,  and would never again be colonized, Haftar said.

Samuel Ramani, a researcher at the University of Oxford in the UK, told Arab News that Haftar was escalating his rhetoric against Turkey.

“He is really emphasising that his war in Libya is not just a struggle against extremism or terrorist militias aligned with the GNA, but a struggle for Libya’s sovereignty and independence from Turkey’s hegemonic agenda.”

Haftar’s warning to Erdogan follows a verbal spat between Turkey's Defense Minister Hulusi Akar, and Anwar Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs of the UAE, which supports Haftar.

“Abu Dhabi does what it does in Libya, does what it does in Syria. All of it is being recorded. At the right place and time, the accounts will be settled,” Akar said. "It is necessary to ask Abu Dhabi, where this hostility, where these intentions, where this jealousy comes from.”

Gargash responded with a warning to Turkey to stop interfering in Arab affairs. “Colonialist illusions belong to the archives of history,” Gargash said. “Relations between states are not conducted with threats.”


Gaza imposes tighter virus restrictions, extends curfew

Updated 03 December 2020

Gaza imposes tighter virus restrictions, extends curfew

Gaza imposes tighter virus restrictions, extends curfew
  • Mosques, schools, universities and kindergartens will be closed from Saturday in the Gaza Strip, excluding high schools and nurseries
  • Medical and political sources warned last week of a spike in Covid-19 cases in the Gaza Strip

GAZA CITY: New measures to counter the spread of the novel coronavirus in the Gaza Strip were announced on Thursday by the interior ministry of Hamas, which rules the Palestinian enclave.
Mosques, schools, universities and kindergartens will be closed from Saturday in the Gaza Strip, excluding high schools and nurseries, the interior ministry said in a statement.
A night-time curfew was also set to start from Saturday, lasting from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 am, while a full lockdown will be imposed on Fridays and Saturdays from December 11 through to the end of the month.
Shops and other premises must close by 6:00 p.m. and people must be home by 6:30 pm, compared to 8:00 p.m. under the previous curfew rules.
Medical and political sources warned last week of a spike in Covid-19 cases in the Gaza Strip, saying the situation was “out of control.”
The enclave, a small, densely populated territory with two million inhabitants under an Israeli blockade, closed its borders early in the pandemic and only allowed a limited number of people to enter, requiring them to isolate for three weeks in quarantine centers.
Up until mid-August, authorities in Gaza had only recorded around 100 Covid-19 cases.
But in the past two weeks, containment of the virus has deteriorated in Gaza, with hundreds of new infections announced per day, resulting in a total of 23,023 cases and 122 deaths.
Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar is among those who have recently been infected by the virus, the movement said Tuesday.