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Libya ‘will ask’ for Turkey’s support if Tripoli war escalates, minister says, Erdogan ready to send troops

Libya ‘will ask’ for Turkey’s support if Tripoli war escalates, minister says, Erdogan ready to send troops

Libya’s internationally recognized government will officially request military support from Turkey if the war over the capital escalates, the Tripoli-based interior minister said on Thursday.

“If the situation escalates then we have the right to defend Tripoli and its residents,” Reuters quoted Fathi Bashagha as telling reporters in Tunis. Eastern forces loyal to commander Khalifa Haftar have been trying to take Tripoli since April.

Earlier on Thursday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Ankara would send troops to Libya as soon as next month as it had received a request from Tripoli.

“Since there is an invitation [from Libya] right now, we will accept it,” Erdogan told members of his AK Party. “We will put the bill on sending troops to Libya on the agenda as soon as parliament opens.” It was unclear what specific invitation Erdogan was referring to.