Turkish forces ready for deployment to Libya, ministry spokeswoman says

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Nadide Şebnem Aktop

The Turkish military is fully prepared for possible deployment to Libya, the country’s Defense Ministry announced on Dec. 27, according to a report by the Hürriyet Daily News.

The Turkish Armed Forces stand ready to serve upon orders within and outside Turkey, ministry spokeswoman Nadide Şebnem Aktop told reporters in the capital of Ankara.

On Dec. 26 President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Turkey would lend support to the UN-recognized Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA), which is fighting eastern military commander Khalifa Haftar, based in the east of the country.

The same day the Tripoli-based GNA formally requested from Turkey “air, ground and sea” military support to fend off an offensive of eastern forces to take the capital Tripoli, Reuters reported.

On Nov. 27, Ankara and GNA signed two separate agreements, one on military cooperation and the other on maritime boundaries of the countries in the eastern Mediterranean.

Following the military cooperation deal, Erdoğan said Turkey might consider sending troops to Libya if the GNA made such a request.

Since the ouster of late leader Gaddafi in 2011, two seats of power have emerged in Libya: one in eastern Libya supported mainly by Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, and the GNA in the capital Tripoli, which enjoys UN and international recognition.

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