Egypt’s president warned Saturday that advances by Turkey-backed Libyan forces on the Libyan city of Sirte could prompt an Egyptian military intervention in the neighbouring country in support of Cairo’s ally Khalifa Haftar.
Meanwhile, Ankara has urged forces led by the eastern-based Haftar to withdraw from the strategic city for a ceasefire agreement to be reached.
The UN-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli has made major military gains against Haftar’s forces recently thanks to increased support from its backer Turkey. The key city of Sirte, which lies some 450 kilometres (280 miles) east of the capital, is under the control of Haftar’s forces, who last year launched a recently aborted attempt to seize control of western Libya.
In a televised address, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said Sirte is a “red line” for Egypt, citing the need to protect its porous border as grounds for “direct intervention” in Libya.—AFP