On June 8th, the head of the Government of National Accord (GNA) Fayez al-Sarraj announced the rejection of the Egyptian diplomatic initiative to launch a ceasefire beginning from the day.
This is a decision very obviously pushed by Turkey, and is dictated by the recent successes of the GNA forces, heavily supported by the Turkish army and its proxies.
Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sissi announced the plan in Cairo, alongside Khalifa Haftar, the head of the Libyan National Army (LNA) and Agila Saleh, the chief of Libya’s allied elected parliament.
“This initiative calls for respecting all international efforts and initiatives by declaring a ceasefire from 6pm [16:00 GMT] Monday, June 8, 2020,” President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi told a news conference
The push on June 7th on the town of Sirte failed, but a second push is coming.
In the last week leading up to it, the Turkish-backed forces have captured Tripoli International Airport, Tarhuna and Bani Walid, all of which were considered important strategic forward positions in the fight for Tripoli.
Fighting in Tripoli has stopped since the Libyan National Army’s forces have been pushed back.
Haftar’s forces are carrying out airstrikes on GNA convoys that are moving howitzers, technical and other equipment towards Sirte.
طائراتنا تُدمر سرية مدفعية كاملة تضُم عدد ثلاث مدافع هاوزر تركي الصنع ودبابتين وستة عربات مسلحة للحماية بالإضافة لحافلة نقل كبيرة أكدت مصادر الرصد التابعة لجيشنا الوطني أنها تحمل عدد من الضباط الأتراك والمرتزقة السوريين الذين عناقت الرمال أجسادهم pic.twitter.com/Q3fj0EcODw
— شعبة الإعلام الحربي (@warinformationd) June 8, 2020
صقور السلاح الجو العربي الليبي الآن
سلسلة غارات علي المليشيات اولاد شحيبر التركيه وسوريه وقشار بصل في العيشة.
ربي يسدد رميكم #هلها_قراضين_بصلها#ليبيا_مقبرة_العثمانيين pic.twitter.com/mfMc6LDECZ
— Anis Abdaljawad #هلها_قراضين_بصلها (@AnisAbdaljawad) June 7, 2020
Numerous airstrikes were carried out on GNA positions south of Misrata, near Abu Qurayn.
The rejection of the Egyptian proposition may prove a mistake, and in the very short term at that. The Egyptian army began mobilizing a massive convoy, including Abrams battle tanks and combat helicopters along the Libyan border.
#BREAKING: #Egyptian Army is now ready for war in #Libya. This video recorded minutes ago shows 18 M1A2 Abrams Main Battle Tanks of #Egypt Army at the border with #Libya ready to enter the country to be used against #Turkish backed #GNA's Islamist militias & #Syrian mercenaries! pic.twitter.com/nbzz0H0chC
— Babak Taghvaee – Μπάπακ Τακβαίε – بابک تقوایی (B) (@BabakTaghvaee1) June 7, 2020
The situation is such that Egypt is in a much better position than Turkey to deploy a massive force and carry out a swift crushing blow on the Turkish-backed forces. In a direct, full-force confrontation between Egypt and Turkey, the outcome is unclear – but that situation is unlikely in the conditions and the numbers of troops Turkey has supporting the Tripoli-based government.
The situation is such that if Egypt enters the fray, the GNA and Turkey’s recent successes may quickly be reversed with the sheer force that Cairo is showing capable of deploying.
MORE ON THE TOPIC:
- In Video: Egyptian Army Sends Massive Convoys With Battle Tanks To Libyan Border As Tensions Escalate
- Military Situation In Libya On June 7, 2020 (Map Update)