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Libya’s GNA Formally Requests Turkish Air, Ground and Sea Military Support

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Libya's GNA Formally Requests Turkish Air, Ground and Sea Military Support

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On December 27th, Libya’s UN-assigned Government of National Accord (GNA) formally requested “air, ground and sea” military support from Turkey, to fight against Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA).

The country’s interior minister said that the GNA will ask Turkey for military support if the fight over Tripoli escalates.

“We cannot stay idly when the UN-recognized Libyan government demands our help,” Ankara Deputy Emrullah İşler said in a tweet late in the same day.

“As Turkey, we will accept the invitation of legitimate Libyan government, with whom we have a history of relations spanning 361 years,” he added.

In response, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that the Turkish parliament would quickly introduce a bill to approve a military deployment to Libya.

The military mandate to send troops to Libya will be on Parliament’s agenda when it resumes on January 7th, the bill could be approved in the next day or two, and then a deployment can happen immediately.

“Since there is an invitation [from Libya] right now, we will accept it,” Erdogan told members of his AK Party. “We will present the motion to send troops [to Libya] as soon as Parliament resumes.”

“God willing, we will pass it in Parliament on January 8-9 and thus respond to an invitation” from the Tripoli-based GNA, he said.

Erdogan made his announcement after he returned from Tunisia, where he visited to try and gather support for the GNA.

Initially, Turkey and the GNA announced that Tunisia would also join the conflict in support for the UN-assigned government, but Tunisian President Qais Saeed denied the reports, saying that no such thing would happen.

Tunisia demanded that Interior Minister of the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA), Fathi Bashagha, leaves its territories and apologizes for his latest remarks, in which he claimed that Tunisia is in an “alliance” with Turkey to confront “mercenaries affiliated with Khalifa Haftar”. Fathi Bashagha claimed that Tunisia and Algeria would “fall” to Haftar and his allies after Tripoli falls.

Also, in the region, an Algerian politician, Abdul Wahhab Bin Zaim said that his country would never enter the Libyan conflict.

The Sudanese military requested Turkish President to clarify his claims of Sudanese mercenaries being present in the Libyan conflict, and urged Turkey to keep out of the fight.

On December 26th, the LNA reportedly hit Turkish-supplied weapons and equipment in their airstrikes.

The LNA is making progress in parts of Tripoli, according to reports and videos.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi spoke on the phone to President Trump about the vital role played by the LNA against terrorism and the importance of undermining militias that jeopardize regional security. He stressed the need to halt external interference in Libya. Egypt and the UAE are the main backers of the LNA and it’s expected that they will react harshly to a Turkish military intervention in the country.

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