Egypt’s parliament to vote on deploying troops to Libya as Turkey-allied forces threaten to take Sirte

20 Jul, 2020 by

Troops loyal to Libya’s internationally recognized government are seen in military vehicles as they prepare before heading to Sirte, on the outskirts of Misrata, Libya, July 18, 2020. © Reuters / Ayman Sahely

Egypt’s lawmakers are to vote Monday to authorize the president to deploy troops to neighboring Libya if Turkey-backed forces, allied with the Tripoli-based government, move to retake the strategic coastal city of Sirte. An Egyptian intervention would put two US allies – Turkey and Egypt – in possible direct confrontation.

The vote was initially scheduled for Sunday but was moved to Monday in a closed session, AP quoted lawmaker Mustafa Bakry as saying. The House of Representatives is packed with supporters of President Abdel Fatah el-Sisi.

Egypt has been backing the eastern-based Libyan forces in the conflict while Turkey supports the UN-recognized government in the capital, Tripoli, in the west. Egypt’s president warned in June that any attack on Sirte or the inland Jufra air base would prompt Cairo to intervene militarily, purportedly to protect its western border with Libya.