Turkey sends troops to support UN-backed Libya government

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said that Turkish troops are going to Libya to support the legitimate government in Tripoli, backed by the UN

Turkish troops are on their way to Libya now
Turkish troops are on their way to Libya now

Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has confirmed that Turkish troops are moving into Libya after such a move was approved by the Turkish parliament last week with 325 in favour and just 184 against.

The troops will be supporting the UN-backed government of national accord and acting Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj. 

"Our soldiers' duty there is coordination. They will develop the operation centre there. Our soldiers are gradually going right now," Erdogan told the CNN Turk TV channel. He added that Turkey's objective was not to fight but to support the legitimate government there and avoid a humanitarian tragedy.

Credit: BBC
Credit: BBC

The rival regime, which controls most of Libya and operates from the eastern city of Tobruk, is under the rule of General Khalifa Haftar. This regime is backed by Egypt and the United Arab Emirates. The UN-backed government of al-Sarraj is backed by Turkey and Qatar among others.

The Libyan Presidential Council decided on Sunday to task the Foreign Ministry with devising new methods to take action against the countries supporting Haftar's offensive on Tripoli, especially the Arab ones.

Haftar's rebel forces were recently blamed for an air strike on a military academy on Saturday that killed more than 30 people and injured a further 33 but they denied involvement. 

Israel, Greece and Cyprus have been warning against Turkish deployment of troops and referred to such a move as a threat to regional stability and a breach of the UN arms embargo.

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