18 – 31 December 2019: GNA requests Turkish military support as fighting in Tripoli intensifies

Jan 2, 2020 | Libyan actors

On 19 December, the Government of National Accord (GNA) approved the security cooperation deal with Turkey and on 26 December, it formally requested Turkish ground, naval and aerial support for its forces fighting against the LNA in Tripoli. The same day, Turkish President Erdogan said that his government would submit a bill for the deployment of a mission to Libya to the Turkish parliament in early January. Prime Minister of the  GNA Fayez al-Serraj said in a media interview that the GNA has “the right to use all legitimate means to defend itself.”. He claimed that he sent letters to the US, UK, Italy and Algeria to activate similar joint agreements, but that this failed to gain traction.

On 19 December, the LNA issued an ultimatum calling for Misrata to withdraw its forces from Tripoli or else Misrata would be targeted with airstrikes “without precedent.” This came after Misrata said it was preparing to fully mobilise against the LNA in Tripoli. The initial 3-day deadline was extended until 25 December after a Misratan interlocuter requested more time in order to convince the Misratan leadership to negotiate.

On 21 December, key actors in Zintan stated their support of the civil-military cooperation between Turkey and the GNA. On 23 December, the Municipality of Misrata issued a statement refuting that it had had any communication with Haftar’s forces. The statement claimed that such misinformation is Haftar’s strategy to cause strife among Libyans.

On 26 December, the GNA’s Presidency Council issued a statement condemning the foreign air forces supporting Haftar for targeting civilian residencies and ‘terrorizing’ civilians, most recently in Zawiyya and Tajoura. The statement also condemned the absence of any international response to the war crimes committed by Haftar.