TEHRAN (Iran News) – Egyptian parliament is to vote Monday to authorize the president to deploy troops to neighboring Libya if Turkey-backed forces there, allied with the UN-supported government in Tripoli, move to retake the strategic coastal city of Sirte.
The vote was initially scheduled for Sunday but was moved to Monday in a closed session, according to lawmaker Mustafa Bakry, AP reported.
The House of Representatives, packed with supporters of President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, is highly likely to vote in favor of sending troops to Libya.
Egypt’s state-run Al-Ahram daily reported on Sunday that the vote in parliament was intended to mandate El-Sisi to “intervene militarily in Libya to help defend the western neighbor against Turkish aggression.”
Libya has been in chaos since 2011 when a popular uprising and a NATO intervention led to the ouster of long-time dictator Muammar Gaddafi.
Since 2014, two rival seats of power have emerged, namely, the internationally-recognized Libyan government, headed by Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj in Tripoli, and another group, based in the eastern city of Tobruk, supported militarily by forces under the command of Khalifa Haftar.
Haftar’s rebel forces — who are militarily backed by the UAE, Russia, and Egypt — launched an offensive to seize the capital and unseat Sarraj’s government in April 2019, triggering some of the most intense fightings in the country.
The government in Tripoli launched a counter-offensive against Haftar-led forces and has recently managed to reverse many of their gains with Turkey’s help.
The Turkish military has been providing air cover, weapons, and allied militants from Syria to help Tripoli repel the assault.
On the other camp, Haftar has been receiving advanced weapons systems from the UAE, one of his major supporters in the offensive on Tripoli.
Egypt has also used its vast border with Libya to funnel weapons and provide logistical support to Haftar, according to reports.
- source : Tasnim, Irannews