Another significant issue that is threatening the entire region is the escalating crisis in Libya. Warlord Khalifa Haftar and his Libyan National Army (LNA) are openly threatening to bomb civilians and Libyan cities, and there has been almost no response from the international community in order to protect the legitimate government of Libya and the country's civilians. Virtually all significant international actors are either actively or passively in support of Haftar's forces as he vyes for control of Libya's capital Tripoli. Massacres in Tripoli, Misrata, Zliten, Sirte, and Mseallata will most likely take place if Haftar, with the support of the United Arab Emirates and Egypt, manages to control Tripoli. Another humanitarian crisis is mounting, as attempts to broker peace in Berlin stall and the Special Representative of the United Nations Special Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) Ghassan Salame continues in a dysfunctional attempt toward a cease-fire. Unfortunately, international actors are providing ample time and opportunity for Haftar to complete his illegal and inhumane campaign against his people. War crimes committed by Haftar forces and his global sponsors are tolerated, giving him an upper hand in the bloody civil war.
Turkey's Parliament has recently approved a defense and cooperation agreement between Ankara and the Government of National Accord (GNA) in Libya. This agreement will allow Ankara to provide training and resources to Libya's legitimate government, in order to defend itself against the aggressions of Haftar forces. The Turkey-GNA agreement, for now, seems of higher significance symbolically than practically. It may take some time to see the more concrete consequences of the agreement on the field, but it may be a game-changer for the GNA side. The presence of Turkish forces in Libya may become at least as necessary as their presence in Qatar. The Turkish military presence in Qatar helped prevent an invasion of the country and a regime change in Doha backed by a joint UAE-Saudi scheme.
Turkey may be sidelined entirely in the reshaping of the Eastern Mediterranean region if Libya falls under the control of Haftar forces and their international sponsors. The UAE and Egypt, along with their European backers, are doing their best to install a proxy regime in Libya. Still, Haftar's popularity is not high among the Libyan populace and the majority of Libyan people no longer wish to see the return of a Gadhafi-style dictatorship. Turkey is the only hope for those who are afraid of a "New Gadhafi" in Libya. Turkey's military presence in Libya may deter the invasion of Tripoli and Western Libya by outsiders and may prevent massacres by Haftar's forces. The GNA is getting more fragile as the intensifying attacks by Haftar's forces increases, especially given the involvement of Russian mercenaries.
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