Erdogan: Turkey Has Not Sent Any Troops to Libya

Does not address reports of 2,400 Syrian fighters sent to Libya

In comments on Monday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan raised a lot of questions about his ongoing military engagement in Libya, pointedly denying that any troops had be sent, and saying Turkey was only sending trainers and military advisers so far.

Reports had previously suggested only a few dozen troops were sent, and it is unsurprising for such a small presence to be labeled advisory. Erdogan failed to comment, however, on the substantial Syrian force he is reported to have sent.

Turkey has a substantial number of allied rebel blocs in northern Syria, and reportedly has sent growing numbers of Syrian rebels into Libya. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights had suggested as many as 2,400 were sent.

Turkey has neither confirmed nor denied this, and they are unlikely to, since Erdogan clearly wants to downplay the matter right now, and probably sent Syrians explicitly to give themselves a bit of distance from the operations.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.