Libya: Turkey Begins Deploying Troops to Libya, Says Erdogan

Destroyed buildings in Tripoli (file photo).

Erdogan has announced that Turkey has already begun deploying its troops to Libya. His forces will support the internationally-recognized government.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced on Sunday that Turkish soldiers had already begun deploying to Libya after receiving approval from parliament last week.

"Our soldiers' duty there is coordination. They will develop the operation centre there. Our soldiers are gradually going right now," he told CNN Turk broadcaster.

The soliders will act in support of Fayez al-Serraj's internationally-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA), based in Tripoli.

The troops will be joined by senior military personnel, Erdogan said.

The GNA, backed by the United Nations, Turkey and Qatar, has been under constant siege by military strongman general Khalifa Haftar who launched an offensive in April. Haftar has the backing of Turkey's regional rivals, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt.

Erdogan told CNN in an interview that Turkey's objective was "not to fight," but "to support the legitimate government and avoid a humanitarian tragedy."

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