A military and diplomatic plan was reportedly prepared in Turkey to deal with the possibility of Egypt deploying troops in Libya, to assist Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar’s forces.
According to unnamed sources of the Turkey-based Zaman newspaper, Ankara “is closely watching the consequences of the Egyptian parliament’s decision.”
It also quoted Turkish sources as saying that Ankara “is ready to respond to any attack on its forces present in Libya, whatever the party that carried out the attack.”
Their sources stressed that if “Egypt sends military forces to Libya, Turkey has a plan to increase its forces and military equipment in Libya to stand up to the Egyptian forces.”
As expected, Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin had recently confirmed that his country “does not want to escalate tensions and confront Egypt in Libya.”
But he stressed support for the Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli.
He said in this regard:
“When looking at this general scene, it becomes clear that we have no intention of confronting Egypt, France, or any other country there (in Libya).”
Just three days earlier, on July 20th, Egypt’s parliament authorised the deployment of troops outside the country, after Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi vowed military action against Turkish-backed forces in Libya if Sirte were attacked.
The parliament unanimously approved “the deployment of members of the Egyptian armed forces on combat missions outside Egypt’s borders to defend Egyptian national security … against criminal armed militias and foreign terrorist elements”, it said in a statement.
The deployment would be made on a “western front” – and it is no secret that this means Libya.
Egypt, alongside the United Arab Emirates and Russia, backs eastern-based military commander Khalifa Haftar, who abandoned an offensive on the capital last month after Turkey stepped up support for Tripoli.
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