Bloomberg has confirmed on Friday the prior rumors that Turkey will be sending mercenaries to Libya — where it is propping up the UN-backed government in Tripoli (the GNA) — are true. "Turkey is preparing to deploy troops and naval forces to support the internationally-recognized Libyan government, joining a planned push by Ankara-backed Syrian rebels to defeat strongman Khalifa Haftar," reports Bloomberg.
Though Ankara has yet to confirm or deny the new reports, Erdogan's Turkey has for years overseen a Libya-to-Turkey-to-Syria arms "rat line" which saw both heavy weaponry and jihadists fighters transported for the purpose of toppling Assad. But now with Erdogan's eyes set on defeating Benghazi-based General Khalifa Haftar, it appears this arms and jihadist rat line has conveniently been reversed.
This also as President Erdogan in a speech on Thursday presented plans to send Turkish national troops bolster Tripoli as well.
Possibly thousands from among the so-called Turkish Free Syrian Army (formerly the FSA), with most of its fighters currently attacking Syrian Kurds in the ongoing 'Operation Peace Spring', will now be sent into Libya.
There are reports suggesting Turkey is ready to pay $2,000 a month for each Syrian 'rebel' willing to go to Libya.
TFSA source told me Turkey will be offering fighters from all TFSA factions $2,000/month to go to Libya.— Lindsey Snell (@LindseySnell) December 24, 2019
And akin to the current proxy war which has seen both the US, Kurds, and Sunni Islamists backed by Turkey wrangle over Syria's oil rich eastern region, Libya is heating up to be the latest 'oil and gas prize' — but with immensely more at stake. As Bloomberg notes:
In a deepening proxy war, Turkey aims to send its Navy to protect Tripoli, while its troops train and coordinate forces of Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj, according to a senior Turkish official. Turkey recently signed a critical maritime deal with oil-rich Libya that serves energy interests of both countries and aims to salvage billions of dollars of business contracts thrown into limbo by the conflict.
As we predicted earlier, Libya and the southern Mediterranean is on its way to becoming the next big Middle East conflict of 2020, also with Egypt and even Russia warning of further involvement to block Turkey's increasing role on the ground.
And as the mainstream media finally stops ignoring the looming catastrophe for north Africa and the region (still in denial as to the fruits of US-NATO "liberated" Libya after Gaddafi was overthrown and killed), it must be remembered that in another ironic plot twist, the CIA trained the very FSA 'rebel' fighters now on their way to Libya.
Gee who would have ever predicted? It's the foreign fighter 'rat line' in reverse.
Remember when the CIA thought it was a good idea to train and fund jihadists in Syria to topple Assad? Via a 2015 military study:
The conflict in Syria has become a rallying point for jihadists from around the world. More than 20,000 foreign fighters are fighting or have fought in Syria, and most are part of jihadist groups, including Jubhat al Nusra (JAN) and Islamic State (IS). North Africa has provided a large portion of these foreign fighters, from countries as diverse as Morocco and Libya. Who are these North African fighters, and why are they going to Syria? What do they hope to accomplish there, and do they want to return to their home countries?
Considering the tens of thousands of foreign fighters which poured into Syria starting in 2011 and 2012 in the first place, many of them from Libya, perhaps many are now simply headed "home" — ready to further the proxy war chaos at Erdogan's bidding.