This week was characterised by Turkey’s assertion of its long-term military presence in Libya alongside rising tensions between Turkey and the Libyan National Army (LNA).

On 10 December, LNA spokesman Ahmed al-Mismari declared that Libya was in a ‘state of war’ with Turkey. This followed LNA military sources confirming reports of heavy Turkish overflights over the regions of Abu Grein and al-Wishka. Turkey’s Foreign Ministry had also threatened to attack LNA forces after they intercepted a Turkish ship headed for Misrata.

On 10 December, the Government of National Accord (GNA) released two Russian citizens who had been held since May 2019 on charges of meddling in elections.

On 12 December, the Turkish presidency reportedly submitted a motion to the Turkish parliament to extend troop deployment in Libya for 18 months. According to the motion, ‘The risks and threats are coming from Libya to Turkey and the whole region. In case of restart of the so-called Libyan National Army attacks and the clashes, Turkey’s interests both in the Mediterranean basin and North Africa will be adversely affected.’