Egypt Authorizes Sending Troops to Libya to Counter Turkish Intervention
On Monday, Egypt’s parliament gave military junta leader Abdel Fattah el-Sisi approval to deploy troops abroad into neighboring Libya, following up a similar authorization from Libya’s Tobruk parliament, which is loyal to Gen. Khalifa Hafter and is seeking an intervention on their behalf.
This is the latest of Hafter’s several multi-year bids to take over Libya. A military dictatorship themselves, the Sisi junta has backed Hafter heavily, seeing it as a chance to install a friendly government on their border.
Egyptian airstrikes are common, but a direct ground invasion is hugely risky, because Turkey already has troops in Libya, and they are backing the alternative government in Tripoli. This looks tailor-made to be a proxy battle over Libya.
Egypt and Turkey have ideological differences, not just that Egypt is under military rule after a coup while Turkey’s coup failed. [Erdogan is Muslim Brotherhood, Sisi’s nemesis.] The two both have interests in the future of Libya, Turkey for the sake of oil and gas exploration.
It could be regionally complicated, as the Gulf Arab states generally back Egypt, and Hafter, and generally do not back Turkey. [They’re in a anti-MB cold war of their own, ie against Qatar.] The US also tends to favor Egypt, but Turkey is a NATO member, and Egypt is not.