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A demonstration in Benghazi, in eastern Libya, on Friday against Turkey’s decision to send forces. [Photo file: Esam Al-Fetori/Reuters]
ISTANBUL — Turkey has started deploying troops to Libya, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Sunday evening in a live television interview, keeping his promise to support the fragile government in Tripoli even as Western states have warned against escalating a conflict between the government and rebel forces.
Turkish troops will be part of a combined training and fighting force to support the United Nations-backed Government of National Accord led by Prime Minister Fayez al-Serraj in Tripoli, which has been under attack for months by forces from eastern Libya.
Mr. Erdogan told CNN that Turkish troops would set up an operations center headed by a lieutenant general and would focus on coordination and training. The first troops were already gradually heading out, he said, but the larger concentration of forces will follow later.
Mr. Erdogan’s comments came after the Turkish Parliament approved a resolution on Thursday to send troops to Libya. Last month Turkey signed an economic agreement with Tripoli, and Mr. al-Serraj’s government requested military assistance.Source: Carlotta Gall - The New York Times
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