Erdogan's troop deployment announcement comes days after Turkey's government approved operations in Libya after it received a request for military support by GNA.
"Our troops are gradually departing to Libya. They will coordinate [their action with the GNA] there. Our goal is to support the legitimate government," Erdogan told CNN Turk during an interview, adding that "the goal is to support a legitimate government. This will not hurt our agreement. The task of the Turkish military there is to ensure a ceasefire, not to fight. On the other hand, by supporting a legitimate government, prevent a humanitarian catastrophe."
"Right now, we will have different units serving as a combatant force," he said without giving much detail about the number of troops and the type of weapons that will be used to support GNA.
Erdogan said the object of the new deployment is not about combat operations but instead to support the government and prevent a humanitarian crisis: "Our soldiers' duty there is coordination. They will develop the operation center there. Our soldiers are gradually going right now."
Media reports have alleged that the Trump administration was mulling an ambitious plan to divide Libya into three areas based on three old Ottoman provinces: Cyrenaica in the east, Tripolitania in the north-west and Fezzan in the south-west, according to Sputnik News. And who better to implement this split than the country which once was the Ottoman Empire...