Egypt Increases Military Preparedness as Libya Tensions Reach Boiling Point
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has ordered his military to prepare for any possibility amid growing tensions over Turkey’s interventionism in Libya. Ankara earlier this year sent troops to Libya in support of the UN-recognized Government of National Accord, which is based in Tripoli. Cairo, along with the United Arab Emirates and Russia, backs strongman Khalifa Haftar, whose self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA) controls much of the war-torn country’s East and South but which over the past weeks has suffered major setbacks in its year-plus-long campaign to retake the capital. El-Sisi on Saturday toured an airbase adjacent to Egypt’s 1,200-kilometer frontier with Libya telling military personnel at the site: “Be prepared to carry out any mission here inside our borders or, if necessary, outside our borders.” The Turkish government recently rejected an Egyptian proposal for an immediate truce in Libya, claiming Cairo’s goal was to prop up the LNA. “If a ceasefire is to be signed, it should be done at a platform that brings everyone together. [This] call to save Haftar does not seem sincere or believable to us,” Ankara’s foreign minister said at the time.