Turkish military intervention in the Second Libyan Civil War

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Turkish involvement in the Libyan Civil War
Part of Libyan Civil War (2014–present)
Libya-Turkey, 2019 Istanbul Agreement.png
Map of the 2019 Turkey–Libya Maritime Border Agreement
Date5 January 2020 (2020-01-05) – present
(3 months, 1 week and 6 days)
Status Ongoing[1]
Libya Government of National Accord
Syrian opposition Syrian Interim Government
Libya House of Representatives
Commanders and leaders
Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
Turkey Hulusi Akar
Libya Fayez al-Sarraj
Libya Khalifa Haftar
Libya Aguila Saleh Issa
Units involved
Libyan Army
Turkish Armed Forces
Syrian National Army
Libyan National Army
Syrian opposition 6,000[2]
Turkey 35 advisors[3]
Casualties and losses

Syrian opposition 182 killed[4]
Turkey 2 killed[5]

Turkey 27 killed[6][7][8] (per LNA)
Libya 100 killed (per Turkey)[9]

On January 2, 2020, the Grand National Assembly of Turkey passed a one year mandate in order to deploy troops to Libya.[10] On 5 January, Turkey started to deploy troops in Libya.[11]


Memorandum of understanding by Turkey and Libya

Turkey-Libya maritime deal


Supranational organizations

  •  European Union - The European Union rejected the deployment of Turkish troops in Libya, and jointly with foreign ministers of Italy, France, Germany and the UK, the EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell called on January 7 for an immediate ceasefire in and around Tripoli.[12]


  •  Cyprus - The Cypriot government denounced the deal, and tried to rally other countries in the region to oppose its maritime borders aspect.[13]
  •  Egypt - The Egyptian government, an ally of the Tobruk government, denounced the Turkish-GNA maritime and military deal[14], foreign minister Sameh Shoukry blasting it as "illegal" in a joint statement on December 5 with French foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian.[15]
  •  France - French foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian denounced the deal between Ankara and Tripoli in a joint statement with Egypt's foreign minister.[15]
  •  Greece - Greece expelled the Libyan ambassador from Athens, sent two letters of protest to the United Nations over the aspect of maritime borders in the deal, which Greece viewed as infringing on its own sovereignty and endangering regional stability.[16]
  •  Israel - Acting foreign minister Israel Katz announced Israel's opposition to the maritime border accord between Ankara and Tripoli, and confirmed that the deal was "illegal" according to the Israeli official position, while at the same time noting that Israel does not want a conflict with Turkey.[17] Earlier in the month, the Turkish navy had driven out an Israeli oceanographic research vessel that had been operating with the consent of the Cypriot government in Cypriot waters,[18]. This act, in the context of the deal with the GNA, led to Israeli fears that Turkey aimed to "create a sea border the width of the entire Mediterranean" and cut off Israeli access to international waters via the Mediterranean sea, the channel of 99% of Israeli exports.[19] Energy expert Brenda Schaffer interprets the EastMed pipeline between Israel, Cyprus, and Greece (forecasted to be able to cater to 10% of Europe's gas needs, and decrease reliance on Russia) as a joint attempt to exclude Turkey from the "Club Med" gas club[20], but the decision to sign the deal was stated to be a response to the Turkish-Libyan deal.[21]
  •  Tunisia - Tunisia rejected the request of Turkey to use its territory for military shipments.[22]

Local reactions

  • House of Representatives -- The Tobruk government which as of late 2019 controlled the vast majority of Libyan territories as well as most of Libya's oil fields[23] opposes the maritime deal signed between Turkey and Tripoli which extends Turkish maritime boundaries from the southwest Turkish coast to the coast of Derna and Tobruk.[20] On December 22, the Tobruk government's Libyan National Army seized a Turkish vessel that entered waters under its control[24], but released it the next day.

See also


  1. ^ "Turkish military units moving to Libya, Erdogan says". January 5, 2020.
  2. ^ "151 Turkish-backed Syrian mercenaries killed in Libya battles".
  3. ^ McKernan, Bethan; Akoush, Hussein (2020-01-15). "Exclusive: 2,000 Syrian fighters deployed to Libya to support government". The Guardian. Retrieved 2020-01-17.
  4. ^ Turkey sends new batches of Syrian mercenaries to Libya as many volunteers killed in recent battles
  5. ^ "Erdogan says two Turkish troops killed in Libya conflict". Reuters.
  6. ^ LNA kills 16 Turkish military personnel including 3 commanders
    "Eastern Libya forces say 16 Turkish soldiers killed in fighting - Libya as Haftar's forces advance on Misrata". Reuters.
  7. ^ نت, العربية (February 28, 2020). "7 قتلى أتراك بقصف الجيش الليبي على معيتيقة". العربية نت.
  8. ^ Libyan Army killed 4 Turkish soldiers, Syrian militant leader near Tripoli
  9. ^ "Erdogan Confirms First Turkish Soldier Deaths in Libya | Voice of America - English".
  10. ^ Cupolo, Diego (January 2, 2020). "Turkish parliament approves troop deployment to Libya". Al-Monitor.
  11. ^ Patrick Wintour (January 5, 2020). "Turkish troops deploy to Libya to prop up embattled government".
  12. ^ "EU rejects Turkish troops in Libya". EU Observer. January 8, 2019.
  13. ^ "Cyprus rallies Israel, other neighbors to counter Turkey-Libya maritime deal". December 21, 2019.
  14. ^ "Egypt Rejects Turkey-Libya Deal on Sea Rights, Security". Washington Post.
  15. ^ a b "Egypt, France denounce 'illegal' MoUs between Ankara, Libya's PM". Egypt Today. December 5, 2019.
  16. ^ "Greece sends letters to UN over Turkey-Libya deal". AP News. December 10, 2019.
  17. ^ "Israel opposes Turkey-Libya maritime border accord". Reuters. 23 December 2019.
  18. ^ "Turkish ships said to force Israeli research vessel out of Cypriot waters". Times of Israel=date=December 14, 2019.
  19. ^ "Turkey maneuver could block Israel's access to the sea". Ynet. December 28, 2019.
  20. ^ a b Keith Johnson (December 23, 2019). "Newly Aggressive Turkey Forges Alliance With Libya". Foreign Policy.
  21. ^ Demitris Nellas. "Cyprus, Greece, Israel to sign pipeline deal on Jan. 2". AP News.
  22. ^ "Tunus'tan Türkiye'nin 'Libya tezkeresi' talebine ret".
  23. ^ "Turkey-Libya maritime deal triggers Mediterranean tensions". Deutsche Welle. November 29, 2019.
  24. ^ "Libya: Khalifa Haftar's forces release ship with Turkish crew". Al Jazeera. 23 December 2019.
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