Red lines and rising tensions in Libya

Source: Middle East Institute

Author(s): Mirette F. Mabrouk

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On July 18, Libya’s internationally recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) moved its fighters and 200 vehicles eastwards from Misrata along the Mediterranean coast toward the town of Tawergha, about a third of the way to Sirte. Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi had declared a few weeks earlier that Sirte and the central district of Jufra were a “red line,” a Libyan Rubicon the crossing of which would give Egypt “international legitimacy to intervene.” While Sirte doesn’t initially appear close enough to Egypt to be a direct threat, it is vital to controlling Libya’s “oil crescent,” revenue from which has been the major source of conflict. For its part, Jufra is the site of a military airbase that the Libyan National Army (LNA) has used for operations against the GNA.

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