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Egypt's parliament approves troop deployment in Libya

Egypt's parliament approves troop deployment in Libya
July 21, 2020
CAIRO (Agencies) – Egypt’s parliament authorized the deployment of troops abroad after President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi threatened military intervention against Turkish-backed forces in Libya. Egypt's House of Representatives, which is filled with el-Sissi supporters, said after a closed-door session that armed forces could be deployed outside the country to fight ‘criminal militias’ and ‘foreign terrorist groups’ on a western front, but did name Libya directly. It said the troops would be defending Egypt's national security. The move could bring Egypt and Turkey, who support opposite sides in the Libya's chaotic proxy war, into direct confrontation. El-Sissi said last week that Egypt, which shares its western porous desert border with Libya, would not stand idle if there was a threat to the nation's security. He also warned that the strategic coastal city of Sirte was a "red line," and that an attack on the town by Libyan government forces would prompt Cairo to intervene. Libya has been in the throes of civil war since a NATO-backed uprising in 2011 that toppled longtime dictator Moammar Ghadafi. Control over the oil-rich nation is currently split between a UN-supported Tripoli government in the west and military strongman Khalifa Haftar and his Libyan National Army (LNA) in the east. Egypt has been backing Haftar, along with the United Arab Emirates and Russia, while Tripoli government forces have been supported by Turkey, Italy and Qatar.
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