The Turkey-based Zaman newspaper quoted informed sources in the Turkish government as saying that a military and diplomatic plan has been prepared to deal with the Egyptian parliament’s decision to send troops to Libya.
According to their sources, the Turkish newspaper said that Ankara “is closely watching the consequences of the Egyptian parliament’s decision.”
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.”
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.”
Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin had recently confirmed that his country “does not want to escalate tensions and confront Egypt in Libya,” but at the same time 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).”
Currently, Turkey is the only foreign country that has national troops present inside of Libya.
El-Sisi had stressed that the frontline of Sirte and Al-Jufra was “a red line” for Egyptian national security in response to the advancement of the GNA supported by Turkey to those areas.https://t.co/uBOXNosESs
— Al Bawaba News (@AlBawabaEnglish) July 21, 2020
Early this week Egypt’s parliament approved sending its national forces to assist Gen. Khalifa Haftar in Libya, however, it doesn’t appear Sisi has moved on the authorization yet. Turkey has long backed Tripoli with ground and air forces, including drones.
If Cairo does send troops, which would be the first such foreign deployment since 1992 during the Gulf War, Turkey has promised to surge its own national forces there, in what could hold the potential for direct confrontation in Libya.