İrem UZUN -TDO- Turkey's parliament has approved by a large majority a bill that allows troops to be deployed to Libya in support of the Tripoli-based government in the country's worsening civil war. The vote, taken during a special sitting, comes amid fears that the threat of Turkish intervention, in addition to that by other regional competitors, could escalate violence in Libya. MPs voted 325-184 in favour of allowing the deployment.
Turkey is allied with Libya's UN-backed government, which is based in the capital, Tripoli. The Libyan government has been fighting an insurgency by forces under General Khalifa Haftar, based in eastern Libya. Egypt, which backs General Haftar, condemned Turkey's vote, saying it would "negatively affect the stability of the Mediterranean region". Last week, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he would seek parliamentary approval to provide military assistance following a request by the Tripoli government. The bill allows for the deployment of non-combatant troops, to act as advisers and trainers for the Tripoli government forces against General Haftar. The forces of General Haftar have been trying to capture the capital city. Turkey argues the Libyan conflict could threaten its interests in the country.
Turkish troops will apparently be deployed in a "training and advisory" role. But this is a highly flexible description. If the Tripoli government has its back to the wall, then Turkey may be compelled to take a more direct hand in the fighting.