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Libya has outsized importance for Turkey's Mediterranean plans

Turkey's hostility to Libyan forces led by Khalifa Hifter is part of an ongoing strategic power struggle in the region.
REFILE - CORRECTING GRAMMAR A destroyed and burnt tank, that belongs to the eastern forces led by Khalifa Haftar, is seen in Gharyan south of Tripoli Libya June 27, 2019. REUTERS/Ismail Zitouny - RC1D103F7D50

Turkey isn’t hesitating to escalate the situation in Libya even though the Turkish government is already under pressure on multiple fronts. Why? Ankara's reasoning has to do with issues far larger than Libya itself.

Currently, two rival seats of power are contesting for supremacy in Libya: Tripoli, the seat of the UN-recognized Government of National Accord, and an “interim” government led by Gen. Khalifa Hifter, supported by a parliament based in the eastern city of Tobruk. Hifter leads the Libyan National Army of the Tobruk government and controls much of the country’s eastern and southern regions. Starting in January, the Libyan National Army launched a military campaign in the Libyan south to secure oil fields and eliminate groups that he defined as “criminal gangs.”

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