• Tensions between Turkey and France have escalated over Libya. The latter is part of a group of countries infuriated by putschist Gen. Khalifa Haftar’s most recent military defeats. Having failed to stop a Turkish vessel en route to Tripoli, Paris now seeks to limit Ankara’s room to maneuver through the European Union and NATO. French President Emmanuel Macron announced that his government would not allow Turkey’s “dangerous game” in Libya, as his foreign minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, urged the EU to discuss the future of its relationship with the Turks “with nothing ruled out, without being naive.” He attempted to justify his call with reference to the organization’s own interests.
  • Ankara’s intervention in Libya fueled a fresh debate in European and Middle Eastern capitals on Turkey's role in the world. Reflecting the view that Turkey has evolved into a more powerful player, that discussion has two dimensions: First, it concentrates on the concrete shifts in the balance of power in Syria, Libya and the Eastern Mediterranean. At the same time, it is a propaganda war with lots of speculation about "real" intentions. It would be impossible to make sense of Turkey’s most recent moves, capabilities and objectives without distinguishing those two aspects.
  • Libya has become a major focal point of the power struggle in the Eastern Mediterranean. That country’s future is directly related to energy politics, European security and North Africa’s stability. The United States Africa Command’s (AFRICOM) most recent announcement about Russian aircraft bombing Libyan government forces in Sirte demonstrated how closely Washington is watching the Russian presence in Libya – despite major distractions like the upcoming presidential election.

Bu Konuda Daha Fazla

  • In Libya, the Government of National Accord's (GNA) forces continue to take control of critical locations around the country's capital Tripoli from militias loyal to warlord Khalifa Haftar. After the GNA's capture of the strategic al-Watiya air base two weeks ago, it managed to then take control of Tripoli International Airport. The seizure of the airport and the surrounding areas in the south and east of the city are critical achievements for the GNA. Haftar's forces are withdrawing to eastern and southern parts of the capital after their defeats. His militias also withdrew from Tarhuna, their last remaining stronghold in the western part of Libya. At the same time, a tacit agreement from the government's side was demonstrated as GNA troops did not attack the withdrawing forces. This handling of the Tarhuna withdrawal by the GNA and the pro-Haftar elements is a diplomatically promising step toward political talks.

  • International focus has been on the Middle East for decades and particularly on Iran, Syria, Egypt, Iraq and Libya over the past several years. However, whatever is written about the Middle East, Russia is always part of the equation.

  • The March 5 agreement between Turkey and Russia put an end to the military confrontation in Idlib, Syria. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, shook hands on that deal to de-escalate what had become serious bilateral tensions. The 2018 Sochi agreement has thus been updated.

  • Andrej Kreutz raised a poignant question in his book from 2007, "Russia in the Middle East: Friend or Foe," well before the Syrian civil war erupted in 2011. Even though Russia has been an important player in the Middle East since the Cold War era, its influence in the region has burgeoned since Syrian President Bashar Assad invited Moscow into the Syrian civil war in 2015.

  • Turkey's objectives amid the recent tensions in Idlib are clear and the scope of a possible military operation would be limited..