Is Libya headed for a conventional military confrontation between Turkey and Egypt as rivalry over the oil-rich Sirte area and the strategically significant al-Jufra base heats up? Despite cease-fire calls from Moscow and others, Ankara’s operational preparations suggest that its allies in Libya — the forces of the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord — might attempt to advance toward Sirte and al-Jufra in the second half of July.
Aguila Saleh — the head of the Tobruk-based parliament, which has backed Khalifa Hifter’s Libyan National Army — said June 24 that they would ask Egypt to intervene militarily if the key coastal city of Sirte came under attack. On June 20, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi claimed that Egypt had a right under the UN Charter for military action in Libya to protect its western borders. He warned against military moves to seize Sirte and al-Jufra, which he called a “red line” for Egypt’s national security.