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Asharq Al-Awsat
Asharq Al-Awsat
Cairo - Khaled Mahmoud

Libya’s Haftar Threatens to Wage ‘Decisive’ War if Peace Efforts Fail

Guests are seen at the Turkish embassy celebration marking the 99th anniversary of the establishment of the Turkish republic. (High Council of State)

Libyan National Army (LNA) commander Khalifa Haftar issued a fresh warning to Türkiye on Tuesday, threatening to wage a “decisive war to liberate the country” from its military presence and allied mercenaries.

Speaking from the city of al-Jufra, he said: “All peaceful efforts aimed at leading to the withdrawal of the occupiers have failed. We have no choice but to wage a decisive battle, no matter the cost and time, without hesitation and with all our might.”

He accused Türkiye of seeking war when it deployed its forces and mercenaries, eager to loot Libya’s wealth and resources and strike “shameful deals with parties that have sold their honor.”

“We are not warmongers, but we seek peace and cooperation with peoples and ties based on respect, good intentions and mutual interests,” declared Haftar.

Al-Jufra, he noted, boasts an honorable history in fighting colonizers, citing its resistance of Ottoman rule.

“We will wage this battle with all of our might … the whole of Libya is a red line before such colonial ambitions,” he said.

“We will not allow Libya to be an open ground for colonial powers that are seeking to tackle their own crises by claiming the wealth of the Libyan people,” he went on to say.

“All previous paths have led us to a dead-end. We can only rely on ourselves in freely determining our fate,” he added, while still acknowledging all local and international peace efforts.

Haftar urged Libyans to shun foreign dictates and determine their own fate

In spite of his escalatory rhetoric, the LNA chief said: “It is our duty to facilitate the work of United Nations envoy Abdoulaye Bathily if we sense seriousness, dedication, transparency, frankness and complete respect to the interests of the Libyan people and resistance to outside pressure.”

Meanwhile, the Turkish embassy in Tripoli held a celebration to mark the 99th anniversary of the establishment of the Turkish republic.

The event was attended by commander of Turkish forces in Libya’s western region, Osman Aytac, head of the High Council of State Khaled al-Mishri, and government and military officials.

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