Sisi threatens deployment of Egyptian forces in Libya if Sirte “red line” crossed; GNA says this is a declaration of war and Turkey indicates it will not turn back
On 20 June, Egyptian President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi stated that Egypt has the legitimate right to intervene in Libya and ordered his forces to be on alert to undertake activity in Libya if required. Sisi warned Turkey-Government of National Accord (GNA)-aligned forces not to push beyond the current Sirte-Jufra frontlines, claiming “this is a red line for us”, and called for a return to talks. This escalation from Egypt comes as the current military standoff between the GNA and LNA forces, supported by Turkey and Russia respectively, continues around Sirte.
There has been little active fighting in the location over the past week, but both sides have mobilized reinforcements to the site. Attempts to mediate an end to the standoff by Russia and Turkey appear to have stalled, with Russia wanting to ensure that LNA-Russia retain control of Sirte, Jufra and access to the Oil Crescent ports, while the GNA-Turkey want to take control of these sites themselves. It is important to note that the various GNA armed groups and political leaders are not one coherent faction, and there are divisions and tensions about the ultimate goal of the Sirte offensive. Likewise, there are also varying priorities and strategies between Turkey and the GNA.