A great war might be looming in the cities of Sirte and Jafra, as all indicators say that military intervention is inevitable. International endeavors and calls for ceasefire have failed in stopping the GNA, preparing for a large scale battle in Sirte.
The GNA forces have already started moving towards the city of Sirte, which is considered as a gate to the main oil ports in Libya. A convoy of 200 military vehicles is on the move eastwards from Misrata on the Mediterranean towards the city of Tawergha, which is one third of the way to Sirte.
The city of Misrata has become the center of Turkish operations in the western region of Libya, to which it transferred thousands of mercenaries and military vehicles. Turkey has also deployed Bayrakdar drones there, where satellite photos show positions of drones around the air base in the city. This seems to include Turkey’s actions to support the GNA forces, which announced plans to attack Sirte, controlled by the Libyan National Army.
Militia and Fighters
Misrata is considered the most important military hotspot in western Libya in terms of fighters and the quality of weapons. The militia deployed there include former fighters, using huge amounts of sophisticated weapons. From the airport and the sea port of the city, Turkey delivers military and logistic support to the armed militias supporting the GNA.
In a related context, Turkey has established a new aerial bridge to transfer weapons to Libya, where the first Turkish cargo planearrived at the airbase of al-Wattia, which was recently bombed.
The Italian military monitor, Radar Ectel, reported that a Lockheed aircraft type C13E, number (71 – 1468) took off from Konya base in central Turkey and flew directly to the Al-Wattia base in western Libya, and then back to Konya. Turkish Air Force cargo planes used to land in Misrata in the past.
On the other side, the Libyan army is getting prepared for the expected battle in Sirte, where the Libyan Military Information Division in Libya reported that the coasts opposite the cities of Sirte, Ras Lanuf and Brega, witnessed intensified maritime patrols belonging to the Libyan National Army. The Libyan Military Information Division account on Twitter published photos of the extensive navy reconnaissance patrols on the coasts of Sirte, Ras Lanuf and Brega.
— شعبة الإعلام الحربي (@warinformationd) July 18, 2020
Two days ago, the Libyan Army spokesman, Major General Ahmed Al-Mismari, announced that the armed forces had pushed additional reinforcements to the west of Sirte to protect Libyan civilians. In a press conference, Al-Mismari added that “all units of the national army are deployed on the front together with modern air defense systems around most of the cities and other vital sites.” Mismari denied the withdrawal of the armed forces from the area of the oil industry.
Egypt Gets in the Way
On the other hand, the situation in Libya is heading towards direct Egyptian intervention, in response to the Turkish aggression on Libya and Ankara’s continuing operations to transport mercenaries and terrorists and shipments of arms. This could serve as a preparation for a battle pushed by the Turkish regime with the aim of controlling Sirte and Al-Jafra and its oil fields, in order to plunder Libya’s wealth.
A new step taken by Cairo came with the announcement of the Egyptian Parliament, aprroving the deployment of Egyptian forces to fight combat missions abroad and to move forces to defend national security, specifically in the Western strategic areas, close to the border with Libya. This approval came within the preparations for Egypt’s direct military intervention in Libya to defeat the Turkish invasion and eliminate militia and mercenaries of Erdogan, who are now threatening Libya and the region in total.
A parliamentary statement said that the parliament has unanimously approved the opinions of the deputies present to send soldiers of the Egyptian armed forces on combat missions outside the borders of the Egyptian state, to defend the Egyptian national security in the western strategic sphere against actions of armed criminal militias and foreign terrorists.
The statement added that “the armed forces and their leadership have the constitutional and legal right to determine the time and place to respond to these threats.”
Turkey plunders wealth
The Egyptian Parliament’s move comes in the wake of the meeting between Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi with sheikhs and elders of Libyan tribes, confirming their trust in the Egyptian President and the Egyptian Armed Forces to intervene and protect Libyan sovereignty, taking all measures to secure the national security interests of Libya and Egypt and confront mutual challenges.
The Libyan Parliament announced, that it would officially accept this, allowing the Egyptian armed forces to intervene militarily in Libya in support of the Libyans in their war against the Turkish occupation, which seeks to control oil fields and plunder the country’s wealth in support of Ankara’s collapsing economy.
Change of Power Scales
The Egyptian intervention, if it happens, raises a big question about the ability of the Egyptian armed forces to change the scale of power in Libya! It is a question that the Egyptian President answered during his recent meeting with Libyan sheikhs and tribes representatives, when he stressed that “if Egypt intervenes in Libya, it would change the military scene quickly. We have the strongest armies in the region and in Africa,” Sisi added.
Despite international calls for respecting the arms embargo to Libya and stopping the intervention in the internal affairs of the country, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan insists on breaching international obligations in order to control Libya’s wealth.
Libyan cities witnessed popular demonstrations, condemning the Turkish invasion, as Libyan tribes confirmed in their statements that they will stand against Erdogan’s attempts to turn Libya into a Turkish state.