Alwaght- Russia blamed Turkey for helping foreign militants cross into Libya, the Interfax news agency reported.
Interfax cited Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov as making the claim.
Libyan National Army (LNA) has already accused Turkey of smuggling battle-hardened Syrian militants to Libya through Misrata in December, claiming that the mercenaries included ISIS and Al-Nusra Front militants.
The long-running conflict in Libya escalated last month after Turkish troops and mercenaries began arriving in the country to shore up the Government of National Accord (GNA) at Tripoli’s behest. On Saturday, President Erdogan confirmed that “several” Turkish troops had been killed in recent fighting, but added that “losses in Haftar’s ranks reached almost a hundred mercenaries."
Erdogan did not specify the number of Turkish troops killed, but Sky News Arabia reported Sunday that the losses included up to 16 soldiers and over 100 Syrian mercenaries.
Fighting between the GNA and the LNA continues despite a ceasefire pledge approved by both sides in Berlin in January. On Thursday, Commander Haftar accused the GNA and Turkey of violating the ceasefire, warning that Libyans had the right to confront Turkish aggression. Last week, the foreign minister of the LNA-supporting Tobruk-based parliament accused Turkey of attempting to “conquer” Libya.
On Saturday, a senior GNA official told Bloomberg that Tripoli “wouldn’t mind” if the US asked to set up a base in the country to keep the Russians out. The US evacuated its remaining forces from Misrata last year, immediately after Haftar’s troops began the Tripoli operation.