Erdogan says Turkey ready to ‘teach Haftar a lesson’

Field Marshal Khalifa Belqasim Hafta
Field Marshal Khalifa Belqasim Hafta

ANKARA, JANUARY 14 – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he would “teach a lesson” to Libyan General Khalifa Haftar if the general decides to resume his attacks.

“If Turkey hadn’t intervened, Haftar would have taken full control of Libya,” Erdogan said, speaking to the parliamentary group of his AKP party.

Haftar left Moscow on Tuesday without signing a peace deal aimed at ending nine months of fighting with the UN-recognized government in Tripoli.

The administration in Tripoli is backed by a plethora of armed militia including groups with links to al-Qaeda.

Haftar, who is supported by many European and Gulf powers, has vowed to remove these militias from power.

“We will not hesitate to teach a deserved lesson to the Haftar if he continues his attacks on the country’s legitimate administration and our brothers in Libya,” Erdogan told a meeting of his party in Ankara in a televised speech.

Erdogan said the issue would now be discussed at talks in Berlin on Sunday attended by European, North African and Middle Eastern countries, as well as the UN, EU, Africa Union and Arab League.

“Haftar did not sign the ceasefire. He first said yes, but later unfortunately he left Moscow, he fled Moscow,” Erdogan said.