Erdogan: Turkey Ready to Send Troops to Libya

A file photograph showing precision marching by Turkish Navy soldiers during a parade EPA/STR

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he is ready to deploy soldiers to Libya following the announcement of a security agreement with the Libyan government. Ankara has been actively seeking to project its influence across the Mediterranean as a scramble intensifies for the region’s energy resources.

“If Libya were to make a request, we would send a sufficient number of troops,” Erdogan said Tuesday in an address to university students in Ankara. “After the signing of the security agreement, there is no hurdle.”

In what many analysts see as a surprise move, Ankara earlier this month reached two agreements with Libya’s Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA).

Ankara’s commitment to the Libya Tripoli-based government could put it on a collision course with Moscow.

Erdogan suggested Tuesday that any Libya request for military support could be in response to the presence of “Russian Wagner mercenaries.” The Wagner Group is a private security force run by Yevgeny Prigozhin, a businessman reported to have close ties to the Kremlin.

 

Via VOA/ NYT

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