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Turkey gears up for tougher challenge in Libya as conflict heats up

Despite cease-fire calls in Libya, Turkey and its allies might be readying for a push toward the strategically important areas of Sirte and al-Jufra next month.
People wave flags of Libya (R) and Turkey (L) during a demonstration in the Martyrs' Square in the centre of the Libyan capital Tripoli, currently held by the UN-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA), on June 21, 2020. - The GNA on June 21 denounced Egypt's warning of military intervention in Libya, labelling it a "declaration of war", after the Egyptian President warned that if pro-GNA forces advanced on the strategic city of Sirte -- some 450 kilometres (280 miles) east of Tripoli -- it could pro

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. 

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