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Turkey announces naval drills off Libya coast

Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar and Chief of General Staff Gen. Yasar Guler get information on works at Combat Operations Centre in TCG Giresun as they visit Turkish Naval Task Group's ship performing duty in the Central Mediterranean upon their arrival with a military helicopter from Mitiga Airport in Tripoli, Libya on 4 July 2020. [Arif Akdoğan - Anadolu Agency]
Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar and Chief of General Staff Gen. Yasar Guler get information on works at Combat Operations Centre in TCG Giresun as they visit Turkish Naval Task Group's ship performing duty in the Central Mediterranean upon their arrival with a military helicopter from Mitiga Airport in Tripoli, Libya on 4 July 2020. [Arif Akdoğan - Anadolu Agency]

The Turkish Ministry of National Defence has announced that large-scale naval exercises off the Libyan coast will take place soon.

According to the official statement, the expected manoeuvres will be called “Naftex”, adding that the maritime exercises will take place off the Libyan coast in three different regions: Barbaros, Turgutreis and Chaka Bey.

The drills, which are designated to prepare the navy forces for a potential war east of the Mediterranean, will occur soon in light of recent escalations of tensions in Libya.

The Turkish naval drills will occur in international waters with the participation of 17 warplanes and eight naval vessels, in order to: “Prove Turkey’s ability to control the region by air and sea.”

The announcement came a few days after the visit of Admiral Adnan Ozbal, commander of the Turkish Naval Forces, to the Libyan capital, along with Defence Minister Hulusi Akar.

READ: UN chief warns foreign interference in Libya conflict at ‘unprecedented levels’

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