Turkey denies supplying Gaddafi troop rations

Suggestion of having breached UN sanctions rejected after Turkish-made food items are found with Gaddafi troops.

     

    Turkey responded after Al Jazeera reported finding Turkish-made rations at three Libyan military bases

    Turkey has dismissed a suggestion that it may be breaching United Nations sanctions on Libya after Al Jazeera reported that Turkish food rations were feeding forces loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.

    The Turkish foreign ministry said on Thursday it has no knowledge of any Turkish company exporting food rations or any other supplies to the Libyan government since UN Security Council sanctions were imposed on March 17.

    Among the supplies at three different bases, Al Jazeera discovered military rations which - according to their labels - were manufactured in Turkey.

    The rations are produced by UNIFO, a Turkish company which specialises in portable rations and meals ready-to-eat, according to its website. Labels show that bread packets from inside the rations were produced in March.

    In a statement issued on June 24, UNIFO denied any wrongdoing, saying that its products "can not be classified as military products" and that the company has "not made any sales contract with [the] Government of Libya".

    Turkey is a member of NATO, which has been carrying out a bombing campaign against Gaddafi's forces for months, and which participates in the UN sanctions.

    Most of the equipment being left behind by retreating Libyan forces is quite old: there is a box of ammunition from Gaddafi's stockpiles, for example, dating back to 1978.

    Libyan rebels have been fighting Gaddafi's forces for weeks in the Nafusa mountain range in western Libya. The fighting has been fierce, and the army has periodically shelled a number of towns in the region.

    The rebels have been slowly making gains, while Gaddafi's forces have fled the frontline leaving behind much of their equipment.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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