Ihsanoglu said in exclusive statements to the British newspaper “Financial Times”, that the reconciliation government is determined to resume the attack in the event that the national army forces do not withdraw from the strategic city of Sirte, and the city of Jafra, which includes the largest air base in central Libya.
The Turkish foreign minister added: “Ankara will support any attack by the Al-Wefaq government … The conditions set by the government (Al-Wefaq) for a legitimate and logical ceasefire.”
Ihsanoglu revealed a offer from Russia for a cease-fire in Libya, which was presented during talks in Istanbul, Turkey, last month.
He added, “But the Al-Wefaq government insisted, after consultations with Turkish officials, on the necessity of the withdrawal of the Libyan National Army from Sirte and Jafra to the 2015 lines.”
On the other hand, Ihsanoglu indicated that his country does not know who carried out an attack on Al-Wattia, located west of Tripoli, last week, and destroyed air defense systems that Ankara deployed to the base just 48 hours ago.
He said that Turkey was conducting an investigation to find out who was behind the raids carried out by fighter planes, vowing to officials to “pay the price.”
Ihsanoglu indicated that Turkish trainers and Turkish technical crews were in the country during the air strikes, but he denied at the same time any Turkish element.
“There is a military build-up from both sides, but this does not necessarily mean that a military escalation takes place in Sirte and Al-Jafra,” the British newspaper quoted Wolfram Lacher, a senior fellow at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs, as saying. Because this will lead to a direct confrontation between Turkey and Russia. ”
“But even if the two sides reach an agreement and redraw the map of influence between the Libyan National Army and the Al-Wefaq government, there will be other players who will influence the decision of Field Marshal Khalifa Hifter, led by Egypt,” he added.