Turkish ‘Neo-Ottoman’ Project Shifts Focus From Syria To Libya

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Turkish ‘Neo-Ottoman’ Project Shifts Focus From Syria To Libya

This week, massive Turkish military support has finally allowed the Government of National Accord to achieve some breakthrough in the battle against the Libyan National Army (LNA).

On May 18, GNA forces and members of Turkish-backed militant groups from Syria supported by Turkish special forces and unmanned combat aerial vehicles captured the Watiya Air Base in the northwestern part of the country. LNA troops urgently retreated from it after several days of clashes in the nearby area. They left behind a UAE-supplied Pantsir-S1, an Mi-35 military helicopter and a notable amount of ammunition. The LNA defense at the air base was undermined by a week-long bombardment campaign by artillery and combat drones of Turkish-backed forces.

Additionally, pro-Turkish sources claimed that drone strikes destroyed another Pantsir-S1 air defense system near Sirte and even a Russian-made Krasukha mobile electronic warfare system. According to Turkish reports, all this equipment is being supplied to the Libyan Army by the UAE. Turkish sources regularly report about successful drone strikes on Libyan convoys with dozens of battle tanks. Some of these ‘military convoys’ later appeared to be trucks filled with water-melons.

In any case, the months of Turkish military efforts, thousands of deployed Syrian militants and hundreds of armoured vehicles supplied to the GNA finally payed off. The Watiya Air Base was an operational base of the LNA used for the advance on the GNA-controlled city of Tripoli. If the LNA does not take back the airbase in the near future, its entire flank southwest of Tripoli may collapse. It will also loose all chances to encircle the city. According to pro-Turkish sources, the next target of the Turkish-led advance on LNA positions will be Tarhuna. Earlier this year, Turkish-backed forces already failed to capture the town. Therefore, they seek to take a revanche.

This will lead to a further escalation of the situation in northern Libya and force the UAE and Egypt, the main backers of the LNA, to increase their support to the army. The UAE-Egypt bloc could bank on at least limited diplomatic support from Russia. Until now, Moscow has preferred to avoid direct involvement in the conflict because it may damage the delicate balance of Russian and Turkish interests. Russian private military contractors that operate in Libya represent the economic interests of some Russian elite groups rather than the foreign policy interests of the Russian state.

Additionally, Turkey, which is supported by Qatar and some NATO member states, has already announced its plans to begin oil and gas exploration off Libya’s coast. Ankara has ceased to hide the true intentions and goals of its military operation in Libya. Thus, the internal political conflict turned into an open confrontation of external actors for the natural resources of Libya.

The interesting fact is that the increasing military activity of Turkey in Libya goes amid the decrease of such actions in Syria. Thousands of Turkish proxies have been sent from Syria to Libya. This limits Ankara’s freedom of operations in the main Syrian hot point – Greater Idlib. In these conditions, Turkish statements about some mysterious battle against terrorism in Idlib look especially questionable. Indeed, in the current conditions, Ankara will be forced to cooperate with Idlib terrorists, first of all al-Qaeda-linked Hayat Tahrir al-Sham even closer to maintain its influence in this part of Syria. The Hayat Tahrir al-Sham plan to create a local quasi-state in the controlled territory and expand its own financial base by tightening the grip on the economic and social life in the region will gain additional momentum.

As to the Turkish government, it seems that in the current difficult economic conditions President Recep Tayyip Erdogan decided to exchange his “Neo-Ottoman” foreign policy project for expanding in some not so rich regions of Syria for quite tangible additional income from the energy business in Libya.

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  • MADE MAKER

    TURKEY EXPORTING TERRORIST to LIBYA

  • El Mashi

    The Neo Ottoman’s choice, fight Syria’s legitimate government and Russia or fight the illegitimate, Nato installed puppet government in Libya and UAE/Egypt. If you are a pirate, you go after the ship with the gold, and that is not Syria.

  • Traiano Welcome

    Are the Turks not content with losing in Syria? Do they also wantvdefeat in Libya?

    • Sencer

      You are living in a parallel world.. LOL.

      • Traiano Welcome

        Good then. Like parallel lines, may yours and mine never meet.

        • Sencer

          Hopefully. I would def prefer to stay sane and locigal.

          • Traiano Welcome

            First try to spell the word correctly.

          • Sencer

            Now that we have seen you dont know a shit about politics , lets try you as an English teacher.

          • Traiano Welcome

            You seem to be in greater need than me on both counts though.

          • Sencer

            Dont think so, at least I dont speak aboutt the things I have no idea about.
            Keep teaching Englsh though. You may have a future with that new self attested profession of yours.

          • Traiano Welcome

            On the contrary, you speak a great deal about things you know little about.

            Here’s my prediction: Erdogan will be defeated in Libya and in Syria. His defeat in Libya will simply be a distraction from his defeat in Syria. Not even his ISIS servants will be able to help him.

          • Sencer

            Depending on which facts ?

            Libya ; Watiya airbase fallen to GNA hands . Most probably it will be allocated to TAF where Turkish heavy armor and fighter jets will be deployed .. Outskirts of Sirte ( about 400 km from Misurata ) is being by bombed by GNA as we speak now. La Stampa or Republica ( cant remember which one exactly ) claims GNA will sign a Turkish brokered defence pact with Algeria with in this week. NATO declared support for TR seeing who is the winner on the field now. Today Egypt and UAE decleared their intentions for a political solution in Lİbya. Wagner is withdrawing to Tobruk from the warzone.

            Syria : UN declared Syria as another nation on the verge of starvation. Assad tries to rob his cousin to create the funds he needs for war. Russian polls showing decreasing support for Assad in Syria ( down to 32%) . Russia openly looks for other options than Assad . During his last attack Assad failed to get Idlib even with Russian help and now getting Idlib is even harder with all those Turkish armor entrenched , in fact it will get more and more harder when/if he can close to Turkish border.

            These are the facts against your heartfelt wishes and predictions. So tell me who is winning and who is losing there ?

          • Rhodium 10

            Put the glasses and look at maps!…in Syria SAA with the help of Russia have retake east Idlib from Morek to Saraqib(M5) and all Greater Aleppo!…Turkey and his dogs only have a minimal part of North eastern Syria close to the border when they told that were ready to take Raqqa and Manjib……in Libya GNA only control 5% of Libya while LNA have 80% included oil fields!…Egypt will not allow GNA to advance in Libya using its powerful army ( close to Libya) to bomb GNA! among other reason all Libya under hands of GNA will threat Egypt and enable ISIS &Al Qaeda bases close to his borders!…

          • Sencer

            I do , but seems that you keep dreaming. Everyone who knew bits and pieces about Syrian civil war was aware that South of M4 and and east of M5 would be left to Assad sooner or later. Why Assad did not continue his attack while he had the momentum ?

            GNA controls around 15% of Libya now , with more than 50% of all Libyan population , get yr facts right. No oil can be exported from Libya now , so it does not matter who has the oil fields under control . Imaginery attack of Egypt is only a daydream , because Tobruk will never will be ran by GNA , it will be replaced by a political entity without Haftar. Sarraj and GNA is not ISIS or Al Qaeda , in fact they fought against ISIS in Libya , especially in Misurata and Sirte. So please avoid half assed assumptions about ISIS and Al Qeada as well.

            Once again get your facts right ; Syria is already partitioned . Libya will either be partitioned or will be led by a new pro Turkish political entity with no Haftar in it.

          • Traiano Welcome

            >led by a new pro Turkish political entity with no Haftar in it.

            You are so deluded. Look at the map: Do you really think Turkey can exert any serious influence across the Mediterranean (where it holds only minor influence) in a broken state that is under the influence of a dozen or more surrounding powers? Turkey is a minor player in Libya, it is late to the game, there are many more players in Libya who want the game to go their way.

            They do not care about Turkey’s agenda, they will impose their own agenda.

            In the meantime, Turkey is entangled in Syria. Turkey shot itself in the foot by destabilising Syria, now it has to deal with the real possibility of a Kurdish homeland right on it’s borders. What a stupid move by erdogan.

            While Assad controlled the entire country, Turkey was protected from the threat of the Kurds, now the Turks have to deal with the problem directly, and expose themselves to the threat by doing so.

            You are in denial. Rhodium10 above pointed out the facts clearly, but you still can’t accept them.

            This is going to be a multi-decade entanglement for Turkey. Even if Assad is removed tomorrow, the devil that comes after him will not be Turkey’s friend. You will wish for the days when Assad ruled Syria.

            As for Libya – Turkey will be trying to get it’s way there for decades. The one who rules Turkey in the end will not be a friend of Turkey, he will be someone who serves great powers like the US or Russia. Turkey is irrelevant.

            As for Haftar, he is a US plant. He can either sell his influence to the US or Russia, and either one will put their weight behind him. With either US or Russian backing, Turkey has no chance.

            In general, Turkey is incapable of fully getting its way, either in Syria or Turkey, that’s because there are greater powers influencing the game and their interests conflict and override with Turkey’s.

          • Sencer

            Libya – Anyone watching Libya war closely can simply see how things changed in favour of Sarraj since last 6 months. What you could do above was trying to exert your own assumptions against the data and information I gave you. You still tell me that Haftar is a US plant , without being able to explain me how an US plant gets help , arms and mercs from Russia. And sorry , but TR is a major player in Libya with boots actually on the ground , refusing such a fact only proves you have no idea about the Libyan war at all.

            World is changing , people like you still believe it is the same place you left 10 years ago, but it is not. We dont have to share your learned helplesness.

            Of course everyone follows its own agenda , but when you have boots on the ground you are the one writing that agenda as well LOL.

            Keep reading though ,

            ‘’ Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, two of the principal backers of the Libyan National Army (LNA), and its commander, Khalifa Haftar, have decided to abandon the renegade general after more than a year of a failed military campaign to take Tripoli, according to Libyan and Egyptian officials.’’

            https://madamasr.com/en/2020/05/19/feature/politics/uae-egypt-prepare-for-haftars-exit-after-loss-of-wattiyah-air-base/

            Syria – Sentimental assumptions again. The aim is not to insert some a friendly ‘ dictator’ in Syria , it is about securing yourself for whomever that may take the lead after the fall of Assad. A potential Kurdish state is not a new plan in the region , it roots back to 1990s when US started supporting PKK blatantly , and is also the exact reason why TR is in Afrin , Ras al Ayn anf Al BAb now.

            And if TR had not intervened now we would be speaking about a real and uninterrupted Kurdish state starting from Iraq to Turkish border including Afrin .But of course you will deny this basic fact ,knowing nothing about how terror attacks in TR decreased drastically after the control of Afrin and so called Rojava.

          • Traiano Welcome

            The facts are changing weekly as we speak. However the trend is not in Turkey’s favour.

            Here are new facts for you. The point to future defeat of Turkish aims in Libya:

            – Haftar currently controls about 90% of territory and 60% of the population, so more than you claimed.

            – Turkey to send 5,000 Syrian jihadists to support the GNA, who have regained some lost territory in recent weeks. But this is going to change as it appears massive simultaneous operations against the GNA and Turkish-backed jihadists in Syria’s Idlib province are set to begin in the coming weeks. Turkey as the sole backers of jihadist forces in Libya and Idlib will find this extremely difficult to deal with as it faces an economic crisis.

            – A detailed report by New Economy found that “Turkey’s probability of bankruptcy is extremely high,” along with its three big banks of Garanti, Akbank and the Mustafa Kemal Atatürk-founded İşbank. “The country’s commercial banks, its last stronghold, have dried up from foreign exchange currency,” meaning that Turkey has nearly no money for its import and export companies.

            – Another report found that failed wars against Libya and Syria have been a major problem for its economy, making Turkey’s bankruptcy probability over 30% in the forthcoming period, putting them behind only Venezuela and Argentina,

            – Most startling however for Turkey is that it has to find $80 billion by August, according to New Economy, or else it faces bankruptcy. “There is also the additional 0.5-1 billion dollar cost per month for the wars in Syria and Libya, which seems to exacerbate the existing situation, leading to a huge state budget hole and escalating the probabilities of bankruptcy,” the report said.

            – Turkey can’t afford it’s bashi bazouks anymore. Unlike the Ottomans: With major economic problems in Turkey, Ankara paid Syrian jihadists in Libya only one month’s worth of wages and then ended all payments. This has prompted the jihadists to make videos urging other Syrians not to go to Libya and fight.

            – Greece has now entered the Libyan theater on the side of Haftar. Meanwhile, Turkey’s aggression has prompted Greece to renew diplomatic relations with Syria, become actively involved in Libya, and strengthen relations with Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates who oppose Turkish influence in the Arab world.
            Yaycı’s ambitious “Blue Homeland” project forced Greece to become involved in Libya and Syria that it previously had no interest in, and it is now actively a part of an alliance that is opposing Turkish influence in the region.

            – France will soon enter on Haftars side against Turkey: France has also taken a stronger interest and openly opposes the GNA now. What began as a plan to carve up Greece’s maritime space has now turned into a debacle that sees French involvement against the GNA.

            – Egypt is now threatening to directly use its military to defeat the GNA rather than just supply Haftar’s forces.

            – The UAE has promised to continue airstrikes against the GNA and funding mercenaries for Haftar. Saudi Arabia is also funding mercenaries.

            – Greece and France are involved in the EU’s Operation Irini to stop maritime deliveries of arms to Libya.

            – In March, Haftar’s political representatives signed with Syria a Memorandum of Understanding to start diplomatic relations.

            The clock is ticking for Erdogan.The signs of impending Turkish defeat are apparent.

          • Traiano Welcome

            >GNA controls around 15% of Libya now , with more than 50% of all Libyan population ,

            LOL! Pathetic. So GNA has only 15% of the land, even though Haftar came late to the game?

            So GNA has to take care of 50% of the population ? What a burden!

          • Sencer

            Libya : Yes GNA has the 15% of land , the most livable parts of Libya. When they requested help they had around 10%. May be you would like to tell us which ones are these competing gorups as well , may be its better for you to accept that you dont know anything about Libya , you simply try to create some arguments with the facts you hear just now.

            Syria : Same uninformed assumptions again . Family of Assad fed and protected PKK and Ocalan for years , They crated a hot bed in Beqa Valley since years from where they have exported terrorists to TR, so better make a reality check before posting.

          • Traiano Welcome

            Here’s another example of the stupidity that will lead to Turkey losing in Syria:

            https://southfront.org/turkish-troops-clashed-with-turkish-backed-militants-in-raqqa-killing-at-least-one-of-them/

            “Turkish troops and fiighters of the Turkish-backed militant groups Jaysh al-Sharqiya clashed at a checkpoint in Suluk, the province of Raqqah. According to reports, militants opened a fire at Turkish troops, when they were stopped at the checkpoint. One of them were killed by the retaliatory fire. The militants were neutralized.”

            This is a pattern. The Turks are creating and backing terrorist groups who will soon turn against them, resulting in further entanglement and defeat of Turkish aims.

          • Sencer

            No , it is a system which you have no idea about.

            Jaysh al-Sharqiya is not allowed to smuggle anymore and their profits are halted. When we started dealing with them they were simple chicken thieves, they promoted to quality smuglers just in 2 years . We will make sure that they will further evolve to be normal people , so dont worry for them.

            Little history will help to understand the problem though.

            ‘’A bashi-bazouk “one whose head is turned, damaged head, crazy-head”, roughly “leaderless” or “disorderly” was an irregular soldier of the Ottoman army, raised in times of war. The army chiefly recruited Albanians and Circassians as bashi-bazouks, but recruits came from all ethnic groups of the Ottoman Empire. They had a reputation for bravery, but also as an undisciplined group, notorious for looting and preying on civilians as a result of a lack of regulation. Because of their lack of discipline, they were incapable of undertaking major military operations, but were useful for other tasks such as reconnaissance and outpost duty. However, their uncertain temper occasionally made it necessary for the Ottoman regular troops to disarm them by force.

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bashi-bazouk

            Now thats a pattern , LOL.

          • Traiano Welcome

            >Libya ; Watiya airbase fallen to GNA hands . Most probably it will be
            allocated to TAF where Turkish heavy armor and fighter jets will be
            deployed

            So what? Over the last few years of the conflict, bases and territory have been traded back and forth constantly.

            But what is clear is that Haftar came out of nowhere while the GNA had the support of the mainstream powers and still managed to become a threat capable of dominating the GNA.

            Moreover, the LNA is gradually getting support from the mainstream powers like Russia the USA and others. They are stronger now than in the past and growing.

          • Sencer

            ‘’Moreover, the LNA is gradually getting support from the mainstream powers like Russia the USA and others. They are stronger now than in the past and growing.’’

            No it is not . on the contrary it is dropping. Local clans began defecting , Algeria , Tunusia , USA , Italy England began supporting GNA openly in last 2 months . You were left in a time capsule a year ago, refresh yr facts ,look around , read some fresh news. What you believe and hope may not be the reality sometimes.

          • cechas vodobenikov

            Turkey w ill be defeated; likely Erdogan will be removed in a coup prior to their defeat

          • cechas vodobenikov

            u waste your energies—amerikans afflicted w a conservative language, unlike British English cannot speak their own language—in the most recent randomized study of 25,000 US university graduates, 69% were NOT English proficient, caucasians, Latinos the worst and declining, Asians, then blacks, the best, and improving

          • Traiano Welcome

            I thought he is a Turk …

          • Jim Allen

            Well, you’re vectoring away from logical.

          • Sencer

            Correct me then.

          • Jim Allen

            It’s above my pay grade.
            These decisions are made from within, using reflection, and retrospect. An objective view is good.

          • Sencer

            Time will show , no worries.

    • Mustafa Mehmet

      You living in dreamland wake up and smell the coffee…. put your glasses on and look around properly

      • Traiano Welcome

        I did all that this morning. I’m still right.
        Beware, little Turk, your Sultan Erdogan is lying to you … Your news agencies are brainwashing you.

        • Mustafa Mehmet

          You just can’t swallow.. because Turks are winning.

          • Traiano Welcome

            Please explain what the Turks are winning?

            I really just see the Turks making problems for themselves – what have they won?

            Give me one example?

            Just fyi: I have no anti-turk feelings, I’m actually a great admirer of Turkey in general. But this latest stunt by Erdogan is beyond reasoning.

            Attaturk must be rolling in his grave with frustration.

  • Pave Way IV

    Air strike on the watermelon truck? You evil bastards!

    • Mustafa Mehmet

      But nothing happened to watermelon?

  • ypovalkanios_katimas

    Turkey is way more dangerous than N.Korea and Iran combined . And some western countries pretend they don’t see what Turkey does cuz Erdogan has officials on his pay roll .

    • Mustafa Mehmet

      You been watching Indiana Jones again katimas katimas katimas

  • Badis Badis

    The world has changed Turks . wake the fuck up. you can’t just take someone else’s country . especially with your weak army and beggar economy .

    • Mustafa Mehmet

      Weak army? clueless idiot. our economy doing fine. we don’t need any help.. pissss offffff

      • Badis Badis

        You fuck offff ghulam . The turkish army nor economy are capable of projectiong power thousands of kilometers away . turkey is barely a second rate regional force .

        • Mustafa Mehmet

          🖕 come and try Turkish Middle finger Cockroaches

  • cechas vodobenikov

    the profoundly stupid often post here—it seems that as the US and turk economies decline so too do the cognitive capacities of their people decline