Erdogan slams Russian ‘mercenaries’ in Libya as Russia concerned over any Turkish troop deployment

Turkey cannot remain silent against “mercenaries” like Russian-backed Wagner that support the forces of Khalifa Haftar in Libya, broadcaster NTV quoted President Tayyip Erdogan as saying on Friday.

“Through the group named Wagner, they are literally working as Haftar’s mercenaries in Libya. You know who is paying them,” Erdogan said, according to NTV.

“That is the case, and it would not be right for us to remain silent against all of this. We have done our best until now, and will continue to do so,” he added.

Erdogan’s comments come a day after Libya’s internationally recognised government, the Government of National Accord (GNA), said it ratified a security and military accord between Ankara and Tripoli, opening the way for potential Turkish military help.

Russia on Friday said it was very concerned by Turkey potentially sending troops to Libya and that a security deal between the two nations raised many questions, the Interfax news agency cited a source at Russia’s foreign ministry.