As many as 16 Turkish soldiers have been killed by the Libyan National Army (LNA) led by renegade General Khalifa Haftar, a senior official in the LNA claimed yesterday.
The statement by Colonel Khaled Al-Mahjoub, director of the Department of Moral Guidance, comes days after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced that his country’s forces have been fighting alongside the internationally-recognised Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA) against Haftar’s forces.
The Turkish president also acknowledged that a number of Turkish soldiers were killed in Libya.
“We are there [in Libya] with our soldiers and our teams from the Syrian National Army. We continue the struggle there. We have several martyrs. In return, however, we neutralised nearly a hundred [of Haftar’s] legionaries,” he said.
Turkey’s Hurriyet newspaper quoted Erdogan in early February as saying that Ankara had sent 35 soldiers to Libya to support the GNA but noted that the Turkish soldiers will not participate in the battles.