Haftar of Libya makes a 'call to arms' on the possible intervention of Turkey

BENGHAZI Libya 's military strongman Khalifa Haftar has called on all Libya ns to take up arms in response to a prospective military intervention from Turkey aimed at shoring up the UN-backed government in Tripoli .

The beleaguered Tripoli government, headed by Fayez al-Sarraj, has been under sustained attack since April by Haftar, who heads a rival administration in the east backed by Turkey's regional rivals -- Saudi Arabia , Egypt and the United Arab Emirates.

Turkey's parliament on Thursday approved the deployment of troops to Libya after it received a request for military support from Sarraj's elected government.

We accepted the challenge and declared jihad and a call to arms, Haftar said in a televised speech on Friday.

He urged "all Libya ns" to bear arms, "men and women, soldiers and civilians, to defend our land and our honour".

He said it was no longer a question of liberating Tripoli from the militias, but of "facing a coloniser", accusing Ankara of wanting to "regain control of Libya ", a former province of the .

Libya has been beset by chaos since a NATO-backed uprising toppled and killed dictator Moamer Kadhafi in 2011.