Turkish Armed Forces to Stay in Libya

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin does not support Turkish endeavors in the region and neither does France.
  • Turkey helped the GNA in regaining certain territories.
  • Turkey is not helping Libya.

The Turkish Grand National Assembly announced an extension of the Turkish armed forces’ presence in Libya. According to a decree from President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkish military personnel will be stationed in Libya for the next 18 months. Former dictator Muammar al-Gaddafi was killed nine years ago in Libya.

The Government of National Accord is an interim government for Libya that was formed under the terms of the Libyan Political Agreement, a United Nations–led initiative, signed on 17 December 2015. In the Libyan Civil War, it is backed by Turkey.

After Gaddafi’s death, there was hope that Libya would restructure as a democratic nation. Instead, the war only continued with old and new players entering the theatre. At present, a large number of the  fighters are led by Marshal Khalifa Haftar, known as the Libyan National Army (LNA).

On the opposite side, Turkey is backing militants in Libya. There are two executive bodies that now exist in Libya. One is the Government of National Accord (GNA), headed by Fayez al-Sarraj, out of Tripoli. Gen. Haftar leads the other, which has the unified support of the Libyan parliament and the LNA.

Moreover, there are Islamic State terrorists in the country as well. Russian President Vladimir Putin does not support Turkish endeavors in the region and neither does France. At present, a ceasefire has not been reached in Libya. To note, in the Central and Eastern regions of Libya, with the support of foreign powers, military training of mercenaries from the so-called LNA continues.

Turkey helped Sarraj in regaining of certain territories. According to President Erdogan, “it is very important to prevent the resumption of hostilities and adhere to the letter of the agreements under the auspices of the UN. Otherwise, there will be a threat to the interests of Turkey.”

Furthermore, the justification of the Turkish armed forces’ presence extension is the alleged “hostilities” in Libya that pose a “threat to the interests of Turkey.” The United Nations has been advocating for peace. However, since the killing of Gadaffi, the peace has not been reached. The country is ruined, the people are suffering, and the European Union continues to deal with the migrants.

The Libyan National Army (LNA) is a component of Libya’s military forces which were nominally a unified national force under the command of Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar when he was nominated to the role on 2 March 2015 by the House of Representatives, consisting at the time of a ground force, an air force and a navy. In the Libyan Civil War, it is backed by Russia.

Nevertheless, Turkey is not helping Libya. All it is doing is pushing its own self-serving interests. However, it is highly likely that when the newly-elected US President, Joe Biden, is inaugurated, he would reel in the rogue President of Turkey, Erdogan.

Greece considers President Erdogan to be a supporter of the jihadists. This belief is also supported by many European nations as well. In reality, President Erdogan enjoys having blood on his hands, which reached even the borders of Russia with the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

In 2021, the trajectory of the Arab World will continue to change. However, there are myriad variables that will come into play. Russia is one of the factors and Turkey had difficult dealings with Russia already.

President Putin will not allow President Erdogan to gain control of the Mediterranean, nor will the EU. It is almost certain that Libya will not reach a democratic style of governance in the near future.

It is possible that Turkey might be removed from NATO next year. President Erdogan can expect a difficult year in 2021.

[bsa_pro_ad_space id=4]

Christina Kitova

I spent most of my professional life in finance, insurance risk management litigation.

Leave a Reply