Libyan Rebel General Calls on Egypt to Intervene
Libya’s ongoing civil war seems headed for imminent escalation after renegade General Khalifa Haftar’s parliament on Tuesday voted in favor of authorizing military assistance from neighboring Egypt in its fight against the Tripoli-based, UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA). The motion calls for Egypt to “intervene to protect the national security of Libya” if it identifies “an imminent danger to both … countries.” Following several months of battle, Haftar’s self-styled Libyan National Army, supported by Egypt, the UAE and Russia, was eventually driven back from the capital toward the eastern border by GNA troops, who were lately reinforced by Turkish forces. Last month, during a visit to the Libyan border, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi warned he would in fact aid the LNA militarily “if required,” arguing that “any direct intervention in Libya has already become legitimate internationally.” The seemingly inevitable battle over the coastal city of Sirte, which controls access to the country’s main oil terminals, looms next. On Monday, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu rejected any propositions for a cease-fire, explaining that the GNA would have to seize control of the city first before agreeing to lay down its arms. “There are preparations ongoing for an operation but we are trying the [negotiation] table first. If there is no withdrawal [by the NLA], there is already a military preparation,” said Çavuşoğlu.