Calling it a military co-operation agreement to support the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) of Fayez al-Sarraj, Turkey has showcased its will to send troops to Libya. The undertaking that, if implemented, has the impetus to worsen the Libya civil war.
The situation has been widely overlooked by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who on Tuesday, pointed out Russian military contractors in the war-torn country as the reason for his support to the GNA.
The military confrontation with Libyan National Army (LNA) of Khalifa Haftar – who controls the eastern Libya and is backed by the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Egypt and Russia – could lead to further attacks on Libya’s capital Tripoli, which has been under seize since Haftar tried to overthrow the government in April.
GNA said that it plans to confront Russia over its move to send as many as 800 privately contracted mercenaries. Also, as per the report published last month by the New York Times, high trained and well-armed Russian mercenaries entered Libya to fight alongside Khalifa Haftar.
In the wake of which, Turkey signed a military cooperation agreement with GNA that enables it to request troops from Turkey. The accord sent to Turkish Parliament on Saturday, provides a so-called flex reaction in terms of availability of troops for police and army in Libya.
However, Turkish support for GNA, which has until now been limited to drones and armaments, and sending troops, could raise insurgency in the nation. On the other hand, Haftar’s air force has already bombed the airport of the Libyan coastal town of Misrata, as a sign of warning to Turkey.
Hard to say, if Turkey would consider backing down, given they have continuously bypassed the idea of keeping a check on the UN arms embargo, which was re-imposed in June. At that time, Recep Tayyip Erdogan said: “We have a military cooperation agreement with Libya. We are providing to them if they come up with a request, and if they pay for it. They really had a problem in terms of defense needs.”
Meanwhile, UAE’s support for Haftar’s forces is also disrupting the matters. But as long as the Arab nation is able to fulfill its greed, a dire spell supporting bloodshed won’t really make any difference to their approach. Not surprisingly, the oil-rich nation has plenty to offer in monetary terms.
One layer over the other, Libya civil war keeps adding multiple factions and respective support from foreign nations, which seek to drench black gold so as to pump their economies. With Russia, UAE and Egypt firmly sitting in support of LNA, Turkey on brink of sending troops and attacks on Tripoli far from being settled, civilian bloodshed is all but an ironical assurance under the given circumstances.