Turkey’s government has signaled that its military intervention on the side of Libya’s internationally recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) will deepen, part of a broader campaign to assert dominance in the gas-rich eastern Mediterranean and to bolster flagging support at home.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s communications office announced via Twitter late Sunday that Libya’s largest airbase, Al Jufra, and the coastal city of Sirte will be among its next targets. Both are controlled by the GNA’s Libyan National Army (LNA) foes led by the eastern warlord Khalifa Hifter.
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Turkey sent ground forces into the Kurdistan Region of Iraq today to attack suspected Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) targets. The operation is in the Haftanin area near the Turkish border. The ground operation follows Turkish bombings of suspected PKK targets across Iraq on Monday. Turkey has used ground troops before and has military bases in the area. Many locals and the Iraqi federal government have condemned the attacks.
A new wave of US sanctions on Syria goes into effect today as part of efforts to push the Syrian government into UN-led negotiations to end the nine-year war. “Our aim is to deprive the Assad regime of the revenue and the support it has used to commit the large-scale atrocities and human rights violations that prevent a political resolution and severely diminish the prospects for peace,” US Ambassador to the UN Kelly Craft told the Security Council on Tuesday. The Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act sanctions anyone who provides support to the Syrian government’s military operations or does business with Syria’s military, energy, construction and engineering sectors. Syria is reeling from an economic crisis, while rare anti-government protests are ongoing in the south.