The first batch of Turkish troops will be deployed in Libya in the upcoming two days, the al-Arabiya TV reported on January 2 citing Egyptian security sources.
A few hours earlier, the Turkish Grand National Assembly approved a bill presented by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan authorizing the deployment of Turkish troops in Libya to support the UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA).
“Turkish officers arrived in Libya today, Thursday, before the Turkish parliament approved the dispatch of troops, the Turkish officers met with leaders of the GNA’s militias,” al-Arabia quoted one of its sources as saying.
The Egyptian sources told al-Arabiya that Ankara also approved a large arms deal with GNA. As a part of the deal, Turkish-made combat drones, air-defense systems and other heavy weapons will be exported to forces supporting the GNA.
A leader in the Libyan National Army (LNA), which is leading an attack on GNA-held Tripoli, had warned that the army will fight any force that would be deployed by Turkey. The LNA’s main backer, Egypt, also criticized Ankara’s decision to intervene in Libya.
Turkey stepped up its involvement in Libya over the last year. Ankara moved from shipping heavy weapons and combat drones to GNA forces earlier this year to deploying hundreds of Syrian mercenaries in the country last month.