Spokesperson of Libyan warlord Khalifa Haftar, Ahmed Al-Mismari, has threatened to shoot down Turkish airplanes flying in the Libyan air space and destroy Turkish ships sailing in the Libyan territorial waters, three days after losing the strategic city of Gharyan, south Tripoli.
At a press conference on Friday, Al-Mismari, who is known as the minister of propaganda of Haftar, also threatened to arrest Turkish citizens and attack Turkish companies and interests in Libya.
Declaring Turkey as an enemy state of their forces, Al-Mismari said Haftar had issued an order to ban Libyan airlines from flying to and from Turkey.
“The General Command has instructed the air force to attack Turkish ships and boats in the territorial waters. It instructed the land forces to attack all Turkey’s strategic goals. All Turkish companies and projects are legitimate targets for our forces.” He said.
Haftar’s threats to Turkey are seen as “flimsy” as he is not capable of attacking any Turkish goals.
Libyans on social media platforms poked fun at Haftar’s threats, challenging him to attack a single target for Turkey in Libya.
“Another stupid order read by Al-Mismari. It is like someone firing at his legs. The order complicates situations for Cyrenaica people, but Turkish contact with other regions in Libya will not be affected by this order.” Mahmud Shammam, chief editor of Alwaset newspaper commented.
Benghazi’s Benina Airport, which is under the control of Haftar’s armed groups, cancelled all flights to and from Turkey’s Istanbul, demanding passengers there to cancel their Istanbul-Benghazi tickets and book another Istanbul-Damascus-Benghazi ticket.