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Turkey sends troops to Libya; Tripoli did not (yet) ask for it

According to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (AKP), Turkey is likely to send troops to Libya next month at the request of Tripoli.

In Libya, two rival governments are fighting for power. The government in Tripoli is led by Fayez al-Serraj and is supported by the United Nations and much of the West. The government in Tobruk is linked to General Khalifa Haftar and is supported by Russia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Jordan.

In recent months Haftar, with the support of Russian mercenaries, conquered large parts of the country. His troops are currently fighting in the suburbs of Tripoli.

Last month, Ankara signed two separate agreements with the Tripoli government, one on security and military cooperation and another on maritime borders in the east of the Mediterranean. The latter agreement put bad blood at other countries in the region such as Greece and Egypt.

“Because there is an invitation now, we will accept it. We will put the bill on sending troops to Libya on the agenda as soon as the parliament opens, "said Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (AKP). The vote could continue on 8 or 9 January. According to Libyan Interior Minister Fathi Bashagha, there is no official request to send Turkish troops.

Ankara has been considering a military intervention in Libya for some time. That would nevertheless be a risky move, since the Turkish army is already involved in the war in Syria. Last week Erdogan visited Tunisia to discuss a ceasefire for Libya.

Russia is concerned about the deployment of Turkish troops in Libya. Erdogan, in turn, accuses Moscow of supplying rental soldiers to Haftar.


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