Turkish Military Holds Drills as Libya’s War Enters New Phase
Turkey’s military carried out maneuvers in the Mediterranean in a display of force as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan positions himself as a key figure in determining events in nearby war-torn Libya.
Eight naval ships and 17 fighter jets participated in eight hours of exercises on Thursday to enhance long-distance capabilities, Turkey’s Defense Ministry said in a statement.
A Turkish military intervention on behalf of Libya’s internationally recognized government has enabled it to drive rival forces commanded by Khalifa Haftar from the country’s west.
While the Tripoli government has signaled it wants to retake more territory before settling for talks, one of Haftar’s main backers -- Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi -- has outlined a political initiative to end the fighting.
On Monday, Erdogan discussed the war in Libya with the leaders of the U.S. and Russia. Moscow has also supported Haftar.
Turkey is also asserting its claims to oil and gas resources in the eastern Mediterranean.
©2020 Bloomberg L.P.