02/01/2020- The Turkish parliament is to vote on Thursday on whether to approve sending troops to support the United Nations-backed Libyan government, which is besieged in the capital Tripoli by the forces of General Khalifa Haftar, who is backed by Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Russia and Jordan.
An extraordinary session is to start in the Turkish parliament at 2 p.m. local time (11:00 GMT) after the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA) requested military support as a part of deal it signed with Turkey on Nov. 27.
Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and its far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) ally support the bill, meaning it should comfortably pass.
The secular main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) vehemently opposes sending troops to Libya, while Meral Akşener, the head of the opposition nationalist Good Party, is to meet the party’s members of parliament to discuss the bill before the debate, a senior party official told state-run Anadolu news agency.
The Islamist opposition Felicity Party, which has two seats in the parliament, will vote in favour of sending Turkish troops to Libya, CNN Turk reported.
Amin al-Hachemi, a spokesman for the Tripoli government, told AFP that three civilians had been killed on Wednesday in an air strike on a town south of Libya’s capital Tripoli.
According to U.N. figures published last month, clashes around Tripoli have killed more than 280 civilians and 2,000 fighters since April, while more than 140,000 people have been forced to flee their homes.
Meanwhile, Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay, told Anadolu on Wednesday that Turkey’s decision to deploy military forces in Libya would depend on the level of violence in the country, which has been mired in conflict since a 2011 NATO-backed uprising against the former dictator Muammar Gaddafi.
“This is totally related to the situation there. We are ready,” Oktay said in an interview. “Passing the motion in parliament has a political message. Why should we go there if the attitude changes after the motion is passed and they (Haftar’s forces) say ‘we are withdrawing, we gave up assault’?” he said.
Sahel-Elite (Bamako-Mali) | Photo : Turkish parliament (Ahval)