Libya conflict: Turkish MP approve bill to send troops

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Turkey’s parliament has passed a bill that will allow the government to deploy troops to Libya to intervene in the civil war.

Turkish lawmakers passed the bill on Thursday, with 325 in favour to 184 against.

Turkey is allied with Libya’s UN-backed government, which is based in the capital, Tripoli.

The Libyan government has been fighting an insurgency by forces under Gen Khalifa Haftar, based in eastern Libya.

Egypt, which backs Gen Haftar, condemned Turkey’s vote, saying it would “negatively affect the stability of the Mediterranean region”.

Last week, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he would seek parliamentary approval to provide military assistance following a request by the Tripoli government.

The bill allows for the deployment of non-combat troops, to act as advisers and trainers for government forces against Gen Haftar.

But experts fear the legislation could deepen Turkey’s involvement in the conflict and increase tensions with Gen Haftar’s backers, Egypt, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Turkish Vice-President Fuat Oktay said the bill would be valid for one year, but gave no details about the scale of the potential military deployment.

“We are ready. Our armed forces and our defence ministry are ready,” Mr Oktay said.

The forces of Gen Haftar have been trying to capture the capital city from the Government of National Accord GNA, led by Prime Minister Fayez al-Serraj.

Turkey argues the Libyan conflict could threaten its interests in the country.

 

Dominica Nwabufo