Decree to extend length of Turkish military mission to Libya submitted to parliament

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has submitted a decree requesting an extension of the Turkish military mission to Libya to the Grand National Assembly, Cumhuriyet newspaper reported on Saturday.

If approved, the decreed would add another 18 months to the length of Turkey's deployment to western Libya, where Ankara backs the internationally recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) against the forces of Khalifa Haftar's Libyan National Army (LNA). 

The initial mission was launched in January when the first Turkish advisors travelled to Libya after the GNA requested military assistance under a defence pact concluded last year with Ankara. 

The Turkish army’s deployment period in Libya is one year, according to the bill.

Turkish military advisors and Syrian mercenaries sent to fight alongside GNA militias were instrumental in relieving Tripoli from LNA troops and driving them back eastward.

The LNA is supported by Russia, France, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt, and is based in the eastern city of Tobruk.