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Haftar gives Turkey a choice - 'leave or war'

Self-proclaimed Libyan National Army (LNA) Chief of Staff, Khalifa Haftar arrives for a conference on Libya on November 12, 2018 at Villa Igiea in Palermo. - Libya's key political players meet with global leaders in Palermo on November 12 in the latest bid by major powers to kickstart a long-stalled political process and trigger elections. (Photo by Filippo MONTEFORTE / AFP) (Photo credit should read FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP via Getty Images)
Self-proclaimed Libyan National Army (LNA) Chief of Staff, Khalifa Haftar (C) arrives for a conference on Libya on November 12, 2018 at Villa Igiea in Palermo [FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images]

Commander of the Libyan National Army (LNA) Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar has issued statements to Turkey, giving Turkey a choice between leaving the country peacefully or war, confirming that: "Decisive confrontation between the two sides is about to take place."

During a ceremony on Thursday in Benghazi, by the LNA's General Command on the occasion of the 69th anniversary of the independence of Libya, Haftar announced: "Independence has no value, freedom has no meaning, there is no security and no peace while the feet of Turkish soldiers desecrate the sanctity of our land. The enemy has no other choice, either leave voluntarily and in peace, or we will make you leave by the force of arms and strong will."

"The era of your colonial illusions is over, and you have to choose whether to leave or fight," declared Haftar, conveying: "Turkey and its mercenaries are continuing to mobilise for war, in which, if the first bullet is fired, they have to prepare for certain death."

He stressed that:

The aggressor did not stop sending mercenaries and weapons of all kinds, declaring war on the Libyans, defying the Libyan will and underestimating human values.

Libya: Mercenaries for Haftar brought from Syria

Haftar added: "There is no peace as long as the coloniser is still here, and with his presence on our land, we will take up arms to achieve peace with our hands and our free will. We will make peace with our heroic army that knows nothing but victory and our soldiers who chased terrorists from Benghazi and the south until they reached our people in Tripoli."

The army commander called on: "The heroic officers and soldiers and all Libyans to be prepared for war as long as Turkey rejects the notion of peace, in order to expel the coloniser with our robust will and peace."

Haftar concluded: "The decisive confrontation has loomed on the horizon, as we monitored manoeuvres and mobilisation of Turkish mercenaries and their recruits near the front lines, and the race to accumulate weapons and equipment and build bases and military operations rooms."

Turkey is the largest external supporter of the Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA) in its confrontation with the Haftar-led LNA, supported by Egypt.

Read: Turkey parliament prolongs army's mission in Libya

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