Assad Joins Forces With Libya’s Haftar To Combat Turkey
While recent generations have shown them reluctant to expand far beyond their borders, in the past few months Turkey has shown interest in overseas military engagements. Forces have been active in northern Syria with an eye toward regime change, and Turkey has also committed to military involvement in Libya.
That’s given Turkey two potential enemies to worry about, and given them each a potential new ally. The Syrian government and Libya’s self-proclaimed Libyan National Army (LNA) under Gen. Khalifa Haftar have agreed to cooperation, and signed a memorandum of understanding to confront Turkish aggression.
The LNA’s adjoining government, the eastern-based Tobruk Parliament, has confirmed it will be opening an embassy in Damascus.
This will be the first Libyan embassy in Syria since the 2012 NATO-imposed regime change in Libya.
Turkey’s Anadolu Agency reports:
The Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad reopened the Libyan Embassy in Damascus on Tuesday after an 8-year hiatus and handed it over to the “government” of east Libya-based renegade commander Khalifa Haftar.
The embassy was given to Haftar’s government after the two signed a memorandum of understanding to reopen embassies, the official SANA news agency reported.
The Syrian regime has become the first to recognize Haftar’s government, which does not have international recognition.
Since the LNA is heavily backed by much of the Arab world, their newfound alignment with Syria might open up the possibility of a Syrian rapprochement with those countries, most of whom had endorsed regime change in Syria as well.
With the Syrian “rebels” all but wiped out, they may find it’s easier to return to Damascus ties by way of common interests in Libya, and a common enemy in Turkey.
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