The threat of a major escalation in the 2nd Libyan Civil War (2014 – Present) by an Egyptian military intervention is almost certain. This would see the potential for a direct military confrontation between Turkish and Egyptian troops within the borders of Libya. Considering the tensions over oil and mineral rights in the eastern Mediterranean by Cyprus, Greece, and others, the potential for a broader Mediterranean conflict is a very real possibility.1

Egyptian military expert, General Mahfouz Marzoup, has pointed out, to RIA Novosti, that there is a massive military buildup by Egypt along its western border. This buildup comes as a flurry of military drills and maneuvers by Egyptian air, land, and sea forces. The naval drills include the potential for combined air and naval landings against far-flung locations.2

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi

Last June, Egyptian president Abdel Fattah El-Sisi very openly declared that military intervention would be his response to the capture of the central coastal Libyan city of Sirte by the Turkish-imbedded forces of the Tripoli-based UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA). An unnamed Arab diplomat is quoted as saying, “This is very real, he [El-Sisi] is taking it [the advance of GNA forces] very seriously…[The Egyptians] are on their toes watching Libya and will not allow Sirte to fall.” Sirte is 900km from the Egyptian border and the city of Al-Jafra.3 4

This comes as Turkish foreign minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu declared that any Libyan ceasefire would not be accepted by the GNA unless both Sirte and Jufra airbase are turned over.5

Any international legal hurdles have been cleared by Egypt as the Tobruk-based House of Representatives (HoR), on July 13th, announced that it is green-lighting any Egyptian intervention.6

  1. Charlie Charalambous. “Cyprus co-stars in Cold War redux.” Financial Mirror. 12 July 2020.
  2. “Egyptian military began preparations for a major operation in Libya: expert.” Al-Masdar. 14 July 2020.
  3. “Egyptian military began preparations for a major operation in Libya: expert.” Al-Masdar. 14 July 2020.
  4. “Libya’s eastern parliament signals support for Egyptian military intervention.” Financial Times. Accessed 14 July 2020.
  5. “Turkey: Libya ceasefire contingent on control of Sirte city, Jufra airbase.” Türkiye Radyo ve Televizyon Kurumu. 13 July 2020.
  6. “Libya’s eastern parliament signals support for Egyptian military intervention.” Financial Times. Accessed 14 July 2020.

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