Turkey's parliament will vote on sending troops to Libya
ANKARA (Turkey): Turkey's parliament will vote Thursday on whether to send or not, to support the fight against loyal forces to a rival administration in eastern Libya that seeks to capture the country's capital.
Turkish lawmakers are expected to approve the motion in the emergency session convened later in the day and grant a one-year mandate for deployment, despite concerns that Turkish forces may further aggravate the conflict in Libya and destabilize the region.
The government of the Libyan Prime Minister based in Tripoli has faced an offensive by the rival, the government and the commander based in the east, General Khalifa Hifter. The fight has threatened to plunge Libya into violence that rivals the 2011 conflict that overthrew and killed lifelong dictator Moammar Gadhafi.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said last month that Sarraj requested the Turkish deployment, after he and Sarraj signed a military agreement that allows Ankara to send experts and military personnel to Libya. That agreement, together with a separate agreement on the maritime borders between Turkey and Libya, has generated anger throughout the region and beyond.
Details of the possible Turkish deployment have not been disclosed. The motion to be discussed in parliament allows the government to decide on the scope, quantity and timing of the deployment.
Ankara says the deployment is vital for Turkey to safeguard its interests in Libya and the eastern Mediterranean, where it is increasingly isolated as Greece, Cyprus, Egypt and Israel have established exclusive economic zones paving the way for the exploration of Oil and gas
Turkey's main opposition party has made it clear that it will vote against the motion, saying it will involve Turkey in another conflict and make it part of the bloodshed of Muslims. Instead, he has asked the Erdogan government to seek a diplomatic solution in Libya.
However, Erdogan's ruling party is in alliance with a nationalist party and the two have enough votes to pass the motion.
The fight around Tripoli intensified in the last weeks after Hifter declared a final and decisive battle for the capital. It has the backing of the United Arab Emirates and Egypt, as well as France and Russia, while the Tripoli-based government receives help from Turkey, Qatar and Italy.