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A War of Words and Charades: A continuation of “The War in Libya”

Updated: Aug 12


BY: Kieran Stoyka Kay



A previous article was written on this subject titled “The War in Libya” which would provide context to this article. Since the last article, there have been quite a few developments in this complex and international war, which some are now calling a proxy-war. The two major powers involved now are Turkey and Egypt who are now gearing up to face off in the battlefields of Libya.


Egypt, which previously was mostly an onlooker to the Libyan war, as well as shipping weapons to Khalifa Hafter, commander of the LNA forces. As of late July however, with the success of the Turkey-backed, as well as internationally recognized, GNA forces, Egypt’s parliament voted to “approve military intervention.”This war, as mentioned in the previous article is about oil and natural resources within Libya, and the war has now moved to several “oil-cities” or militarily significant cities with airbases such as Sirte and Al-Watiya.


If we are to compare the two militaries as a whole the Egyptian military ranks 9th in the world, as it is comprised of modern fighting machines and equipment. Whereas Turkey ranks 11th with inferior weapons, yet some say that because of it’s NATO affiliation it has a superior strategic advantage over its adversary. Additionally, Egypt’s military and commanders have not been tested on a large-scale battlefield for quite some time, and even have had difficulty dealing with rebels within their own borders who are insignificant in numbered comparison. Turkey on the other hand has participated in a multitude of NATO training and combat operations and has the upper hand when it comes to knowing the battlefield in Libya, and how to get troops, weapons, and machinery into the region.


Looking at the battlefield successes as of today categorically, Turkey certainly has a strategic edge over any Egyptian incursions to come, but Egypt looms as a menacing threat to the current success of GNA and Turkish backed forces in the region. Egypt has begun training exercises on its bases as a show of force to Turkey, whereas Turkey has responded strategically on the ground in Libya gaining more ground and key sites on the battlefield.


In the end, it may not come to a full-fledged proxy war as both sides seem not to be so invested in the war as to send tens of thousands of ground troops to the region, which would be needed by both sides if this proxy-war were to take place. With too little reward comes too high of a risk and this is what might abate this war of words and charades, but we will have to see what developments come from the next few weeks and months.


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