Assessments

The Regional Ambitions Impelling Turkey to Send Troops to Libya

Jan 3, 2020 | 10:30 GMT
Members of Turkey's parliament pass legislation approving a deployment of Turkish troops to Libya on Jan. 2, 2020.

Members of Turkey's parliament vote to send Turkish troops to Libya on Jan. 2. Turkey's strategy of advancing its economic and foreign policy interests via greater involvement in Libya carries a risk of mission creep.

(ADEM ALTAN/AFP via Getty Images)

Turkey faces the risk of mission creep as it increases its involvement and investment in Libya. For the second time in four months, Turkey is planning a controversial military deployment in an Arab country now that Libya's internationally recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) has requested air, land and sea support from Ankara to help defend Tripoli against an offensive by the Libyan National Army backed by Russian mercenaries and Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia. Why Turkey would even consider deploying forces to Tripoli to protect the feeble GNA might perplex some outsiders, but Ankara must protect the government in Tripoli if it wants to fulfill its regional ambitions....

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