03/01/2020 – As Turkey prepares to deploy its armed forces to support the Tripoli government in Libya, their rivals in the Libyan National Army have called on civilians to take up arms against Turkish troops, the Associated Press reported.
The Turkish parliament voted in favour of a bill authorising the troop deployment on Thursday, after months of tight cooperation with the U.N.-recognised Government of National Accord in Tripoli.
The Tripoli government has been under attack from the Libyan National Army led by General Khalifa Haftar, who vowed to capture the Libyan capital city in a renewed offensive launched on Dec. 12.
Responding to Thursday’s bill, the Libyan National Army tweeted that it was Libyans’ duty to fight to protect their homeland, repeating a call to arms the forces have made several times throughout a war in which militias have been active on both sides, AP said.
The United Nations’ envoy to Libya, Ghassan Salame, said the Turkish deployment would disrupt efforts for peace in the country, which has been embroiled in conflicts since former leader Muammar Gaddafi was killed in an uprising in 2011.
“The direct military involvement of member states in the Libyan conflict is escalating, inflaming, and protracting the conflict,” he told AP.