By Spy Uganda Correspondent
Turkey has begun providing military training to 120 soldiers in the Libyan Army under the command of the Government of National Accord (GNA), the Turkish Defence Ministry announced on Monday.
The training, held in the Tajoura Joint Land Training and Exercise Centre in Libya, is geared to bringing the GNA army up to international standards, the ministry said in a statement on Twitter.
Libya ordusunun uluslararası standartlara ulaştırılması maksadıyla sağlanan eğitim desteği kapsamında; 120 Libyalı askere Tacura Müşterek Kara Eğitim ve Tatbikat Merkezinde eğitim verilmeye başlanmıştır. pic.twitter.com/1lDiigrcrO
— T.C. Millî Savunma Bakanlığı (@tcsavunma) October 12, 2020
Ankara throws its weight behind Libya’s U.N.-recognised GNA, bolstering the GNA-allied forces with Turkish drones, armoured vehicles, military advisers and Syrian mercenaries against the Russian and Egyptian-backed Libyan National Army (LNA), led by Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar.
Turkish support earlier this year helped the internationally-recognised GNA reverse a 14-month assault on Tripoli by Haftar’s rival self-styled LNA.
Last November, Turkey announced agreements with the GNA on maritime border demarcation and military intervention in the oil-rich North African country.
These come at a time when Libya’s Sharara oil field, the country’s largest, resumed production Monday after compelling reasons were eliminated, the oil field’s administration said.
The administration said in a statement on Libya’s Al-Ahrar TV that “the first stages of pumping the general stock in from the field’s main pumping station to the Ras Lanuf oil port” had begun.
The oil field said that its operations would raise Libya’s production to about 350,000 barrels per day (bpd).
On Sept. 18, putschist Gen. Khalifa Haftar announced the lifting of a blockade from oil fields and facilities, including Sharara, after a nine-month closure.
On Thursday, the Libyan Central Bank said that the country’s losses due to the closure of oil facilities totalled about $10 billion.
The statement also noted that authorities have instructed the Akakus Company in charge of inspecting the oil field to proceed with production in line with public safety and security standards following the closure by Haftar’s forces.
Libya’s National Oil Company (NOC) had recently announced that the compelling reasons behind the field’s closure were eliminated after forging an agreement with the militant group called “The Guardians of the Oil Facilities.”
Last month the U.S. announced that Haftar has agreed to lift the blockade on oil controlled by his forces.
Powerful tribes in eastern Libya loyal to Haftar have kept export terminals closed and choked off major pipelines since the start of the year in a move aimed at putting pressure on their rivals in the United Nations-supported Government of National Accord (GNA), based in the capital Tripoli.