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  • Ismet Yilmaz, head of the parliament's national defence committee from the ruling AK Party, addresses lawmakers at the Turkish Parliament in Ankara, Turkey, January 2, 2020.

    Ismet Yilmaz, head of the parliament's national defence committee from the ruling AK Party, addresses lawmakers at the Turkish Parliament in Ankara, Turkey, January 2, 2020. | Photo: Reuters

Published 2 January 2020

The U.N.-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) has been on the defensive for several months, as forces loyal to Khalifa Haftar advance towards the capital city. 

The Turkish Parliament passed a bill on Thursday that approves the deployment of the country's armed forces to the North African nation of Libya in order to assist the U.N.-recognized Government of National Accord troops in Tripoli. 

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According to the state-owned Anadolu Agency, the Turkish Parliament passed the bill with a 325 -184 vote in favor of deploying the armed forces to Libya.

Due to the fact that the majority of the Turkish Parliament is made up of allies to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, this gave them the advantage when it came time to vote on military deployment bill. 

Initially, the vote was scheduled to take place on January 7th; however, due to the ongoing advances made by the Libyan National Army (LNA), which is led by Khalifa Haftar, the Turkish Parliament agreed to move the vote to Thursday, January 2nd. 

Turkey has been one of the main backers of the Government of National Accord, as they have provided the latter's forces with military aid as they take on the Libyan National Army. 

Prior to this biill's passing, the GNA's Prime Minister Fayez Al-Sarraj and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan signed a military cooperation agreement in November that would give Ankara the right to intervene inside the country. 

While it's highly likely that the Turkish Armed Forces will be deployed to Libya, Ankara has stated that they are willing to reconsider if the Libyan National Army halts their operation in Tripoli.

The government in Benghazi, which is backed by Russia, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Egypt, has indicated that they will not stop their operation until their forces are in control of Tripoli. 

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