6 Turkish citizens detained in Libya released

Six Turkish citizens who were detained in Libya by the forces of Khalifa Haftar, the head of the Libyan National Army (LNA,) have been released on July 1
Tuesday, 02 July 2019 07:51

The Turkish authorities said that the detained Turkish citizens were sailors and they went back to their ships after being released.

“Detention of 6 Turkish citizens by Hafter's illegal militia in Libya is an act of banditry and piracy. We expect our citizens to be released immediately. Otherwise, Hafter elements will become legitimate targets,” The Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced on June 30 against the detention of Turkish sailors.

Haftar’s spokesman Ahmed al-Mismari announced on June 28 that they had shot down a drone of the Government of National Accord near Tripoli, adding that the drone had been produced in Turkey. Mismari also declared a ban on commercial flights from Libya to Turkey, ordering their forces to attack Turkish ships in Libya.  

The tension between Libya and Turkey further increased with the claim that the Ajdabiya Security Service of the Libyan National Army closed Turkish stores in the region and detained 2 Turkish citizens, following the reports that 6 sailors were detained.

Since 2011, Libya has been divided into two parts following a NATO-backed operation leading to the ouster and death of Muammar Gaddafi. In the west, there is the Government of National Accord in Tripoli, and in the east, there is the House of Representatives in Tobruk bordering Egypt.

The political tension between the House of Representatives in Libya, where an eight-years of civil war continues, and Turkey has been increasing. The country is experiencing an international war of redistribution due to its oil reserves.

Turkey, along with some of the Western countries supports the Government of National Accord, climbing the crisis with the House of Representatives.