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At least 16 Turkish servicemen die in clashes in Libya's Tripoli

At least 16 Turkish servicemen die in clashes in Libya's Tripoli

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 23 Feb 2020, 02:12 pm

Moscow/Sputnik/UNI: Sixteen members of the Turkish armed forces and more than 100 Syrian mercenaries have died fighting in the Libyan capital of Tripoli, the Sky News Arabia TV channel reported on Sunday, citing sources in the Libyan National Army (LNA).

Earlier in the week, the LNA commander, Khalifa Haftar, told Sputnik that the rival Government of National Accord (GNA) used the current ceasefire to deploy Syrian mercenaries to Libya. Meanwhile, the Turkish forces arrived in Libya earlier this year under an agreement between the GNA and Ankara.

According to the channel's Twitter, 16 Turkish military men and over 100 Syrian mercenaries have died in Tripoli clashes.

After the ouster and assassination of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, the country was plunged into a brutal civil war. Today, Libya is divided between two centers of power the LNA and the GNA. On December 12, Haftar announced the beginning of a decisive battle in his campaign to capture Tripoli, which has been underway since last April and has resulted in vicious fighting in the city's outskirts.

In January, the international conference on Libya took place in the German capital, counting Russia, the United States, the European Union, Turkey and Egypt among its participants. The sides agreed on a ceasefire and non-involvement of third parties in the conflict.