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Turkey’s Growing Role In The Libya Conflict

Politics, Geopolitics & Conflict

- Turkey has become intricately involved in the conflict in Libya, aiding the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA). This has led to a severe backlash from General Haftar and the LNA, which has vowed to target Turkish nationals and Turkish assets in the country. While Haftar released 6 Turkish sailors held captive in this strategy, this is not the end of this external element of the conflict. Turkey is now preparing to get another shipment of drones to the GNA, after having helped GNA militias to retake a strategic town from Haftar last week, who responded by shooting down a Turkish drone. Turkey considers Libya as a keystone of proxy wars for Mediterranean energy reserves. Turkey’s ultimate goal, according to our official sources in Ankara is to use the GNA to unify Libya in order to reach a deal for maritime demarcation of the Mediterranean. A Turkish Foreign Ministry official told us that such a deal would “push Greece, Cyprus, Israel and Egypt out of the equation”, and as such is a “strategic target”. In other words, Libya is the key to Turkey’s energy battle with the Greek Cypriots, and with Israel, and this is the sideshow unfolding while Turkey taunts Cyprus with its own drilling offshore in the Cypriot EEZ. There was a suggestion here that Turkey is willing to take this further, militarily, with the official noting that “Libya is not as far from Turkey as some think”.

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