Turkey's Libyan Gambit Reveals Erdogan's Delusions of Grandeur

(Ha'aretz) Dr. Simon A. Waldman - Last week, Turkey's President Erdogan announced plans to send troops to Libya. Since 2016, Turkey opened military bases in Qatar and Somalia, intervened three times in neighboring Syria against Kurdish forces, and sent naval vessels to disrupt Cypriot drilling for gas in the Eastern Mediterranean. In November, Turkey and Libya signed an agreement on maritime boundaries which extended into the exclusive economic zones of Greece. However, such moves highlight Ankara's delusions of grandeur. While Turkish leaders genuinely believe that Turkey is a significant international power, the country has limited means at its disposal. In Libya, Ankara is backing the underdog Tripoli government, while the forces of the opposing General Khalifa Haftar dominate much of the country. Haftar is backed by Russia, Egypt, Sudan, Jordan, France, and the UAE, with hundreds of Russian mercenaries fighting alongside his forces. The writer is an associate fellow at the Henry Jackson Society and a visiting research fellow at King's College London.

2019-12-31 00:00:00

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