Turkey Uses Syria To Strengthen Open Offensive in Libya

Turkish President Recap Tayyip Erdogan

The fact that Turkey has been instrumental in changing the course of the Libyan war is not a hidden fact. But the latest ever report on Turkey’s involvement in the civil war, comes through certain revelations made by the U.S. Defense Department’s inspector general who has confirmed that Turkey has used Syrians as a human sacrifice in Libya.

It has now been confirmed that Turkey has indeed sent more than 3000 paid Syrians nationals as soldiers to fight the Libyan civil war. Since 2011, Turkey has been diplomatically and militarily involved in the Syrian Civil War despite many firm requests from the UN to move out of the area. Turkey has been interested in Syria due to historical reasons and Turkish President Recap Tayyip Erdogan has used its resources only to be able to widen his circle of power around the Middle East, especially in regions rich in oil reserves. 

Despite repeated requests for withdrawal of foreign forces in the Libyan civil war, the intervention has not happened. This has only escalated the situation to a proxy war, where foreign countries like Turkey, Iran and Russia are eyeing the oil rich lands. They have continued to fuel the seemingly simple internal strife into full fledged wars that have devastated the fabric of life in these countries. 

Libya and Syria today have no economy left. They have no schools, no medical facilities, dilapidated buildings hit by repeated air bombing and millions of civilians dead or homeless. Those that have survived in Syria, for example, have been used as soldiers to fan the war in Libya. These include homeless youth, young children and unemployed middle aged men as well. 

 The report generated by the Pentagon is quarterly in nature. It primarily covers issues like counterterrorism operations in Africa. According to the report, Turkey paid and offered citizenship to thousands of mercenaries fighting alongside Tripoli-based militias against troops of east Libya-based commander Khalifa Haftar. Strangely, none of these mercenaries hold any strong ideologies to fight a war. Instead, their motivation is only monetary in nature.

The report also spells the deep impact that Turkey has in Syria, where it has been able to drive away the Haftar forces, despite its backing by one of the most powerful Middle East nation, Egypt and the US. Turkey had already started sending in Syrian troops into Libya, much before Haftar forces decided to retreat in May 2020.  

Turkey has shown its prowess in its open military intervention unlike other nations that have chosen to show their support to the warring sides, in a more hidden manner. As Haftar retreated, so did his sponsors calling for a political ceasefire. But Turkey has gone all out to claim control over the Haftar held oil fields and open about its intentions. 

But the whole matter is about gaining control over oilfields only. According to the National Oil Corporation in Libya, a “large number” of Syrian, Sudanese and Russian mercenaries are occupying oil installations, most recently Libya’s largest port of Es Sidra.” With Turkey using a lot of mercenaries from Syria and then Syrian citizens as well, it might just be pushing itself close enough to capture oil reserves both in Syria and Libya; and it is not hiding its intentions of gaining power. It’s an open challenge to war and control, unlike Russia or the US that still prefer to be politically correct before they delve their hands into liquid gold. 

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