‘I Will Sink Your Ships Myself’: Hafter’s Navy Commander Warns Turkey

Tobruk Parliament rejects Tripoli's deal with Erdogan

Making deals in nations with multiple self-proclaimed governments is always a risky proposition, and Turkey may be discovering that after making a deal on naval exploration with the Tripoli-based Libyan government of national accord (GNA).

Gen. Khalifa Hafter’s rival faction, the self-proclaimed Libyan National Army (LNA), is rejecting the deal, with their affiliated parliament at Tobruk considering the deal “invalid,” and Gen. Mahdawi, the head of the self-proclaimed army’s  self-proclaimed navy, says he will personally sink any Turkish ships that enter Libyan waters.

Turkey is keen for this deal because it explicitly talks about exploration of Libyan territorial waters, and Turkey is interested in exploring for off-shore gas off the coast of Libya. Erdogan has also offered to send troops to back the GNA against the LNA.

The LNA clearly didn’t appreciate the offer of intervention, or the legitimacy the deal would confer on their rivals. They notably issued their statement rejecting the deal in Greek, something that was believed to have been done to spite the Turkish government.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.