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UAE targets Somalia-Turkey relations with Mogadishu bombing - columnist

Monday December 30, 2019

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is behind Saturday’s car bombing in Somalia's Mogadishu, which left at least 79 people dead, Yeni Şafak columnist İbrahim Karagül wrote on Sunday.

The UAE’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who is involved in the civil wars in Syria and Libya, conducted the attack targeting the Somalian administration and Turkey-Somalia relations, Karagül said.

A truck bomb exploded at a busy security checkpoint in Somalia's capital Saturday morning in the country's deadliest attack in two years. Two Turkish engineers were among the victims of the attack. While the bombing has not been claimed, Mogadishu is regularly hit by car bombings and attacks waged by Al-Shabaab Islamist militants allied to al-Qaeda.

The attack came at a time when Turkey, one of the most influential countries in Somalia, is preparing for a military operation in war-torn Libya, Karagül said, adding that Turkey's plans in Libya and increasing influence in the region is troubling the UAE.

The UAE, along with Egypt and Saudi Arabia are showering Libya’s rival faction, the Libyan National Army (LNA) of Khalifa Haftar, the columnist said, sending the organisation weapons, troops and aircraft in order to overthrow the U.N.-backed ruling government in Libya.

Libya is divided between two rival factions, one broadly supporting Haftar in the east and another based in Tripoli in the west, including the UN-backed U.N.-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) led by Fayez al-Sarraj. Turkey backs the GNA while the LNA is supported by Russia, Egypt, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates.

"Just as Turkey was preparing to focus more intensely on the process of sending troops to Libya, a brutal attack took place in Somalia. A message was sent to both Somalia and Turkey,’’ Karagül said.


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