Can Turkey double down in Libya game?
Source:al Monitor Date:04May2019
Turkey came back into the spotlight in Libya’s conflict after Libyan National Army (LNA) commander Khalifa Hifter launched an offensive on Tripoli April 4, having taken control of two-thirds of the country, backed by Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. The Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA), led by Fayez al-Sarraj and backed by the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist groups, has pinned high hopes on Turkey.
The forces Turkey supports have managed to hold on to Tripoli and Misrata, but a scenario in which they manage to push Hifter back to Tobruk and Benghazi appears too weak now. Hifter has long struck deals with the tribes in the oil-rich southern and eastern regions and lured Libyan soldiers to his side after the regular army disintegrated in 2011. If Hifter’s forces prevail, the cost of taking sides for Turkey could mean forgetting about Libya altogether, much to the chagrin of Turkish contractors, who abandoned projects worth $19 billion in Libya in 2011 and were hoping to return with a bang.