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As we’ve been reporting for many months, the ongoing civil war in Libya is fueled by foreign powers seeking control of the country’s huge oil reserves.
The drumbeat of war is getting louder around the vicinity of Sirte, considered a gateway to one of Libya’s main oil ports.
The U.N.-sanctioned government in Tripoli has sent fighters to the area, supported by Turkish military officers. Rebel forces, led by ex-CIA agent Field Marshall Khalifa Haftar and backed by Russian military contractors and Syrian fighters, are being positioned to defend.
The rebel forces consider this area a crucial stronghold for their cause. In addition to Russian military support, the rebels are also backed by Egypt and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Field Marshall Haftar and his forces have failed in their attempt to take over the capital city of Tripoli and oust the current Government of National Accord (GNA). Now his forces, with their foreign support, seek total control of the oil fields they have shut down, causing a major impact on the country’s economy.
Turkey’s role is a crucial element. Its strong alliance with the GNA is part of an overall strategy to gain control of important natural gas fields in the eastern Mediterranean region. That control depends on the results of its ongoing disputes with Egypt, Israel, and Greece for these Eastern Mediterranean natural gas reserves.
The pressure against Turkish control in the region is further raised by Egypt’s political allies of Saudi Arabia and the UAE, which have made clear they will support Cairo if needed. The UAE has also directly sent weapons to the rebel Libyan forces.
Moscow’s role is less clearly defined, as it has disavowed any official relationship with the over 200,000 Russian military contractors backing Haftar.
Russian officials have called for a political solution. Yet, since Haftar’s failed attempt to siege the capital, Russia has sent MIG-29 jets, armored vehicles, and millions in cash in support of the rebel commander’s forces.
America’s position is also unclear. While the State Department called for a cease-fire after Haftar tried to lead a surge into Tripoli in April 2019, the White House confirmed at the time President Trump had called the Field Marshall to discuss, in their words, “ongoing counterterrorism efforts” against the official U.N.-backed GNA.
TRENDPOST: Both Turkey and Egypt are in financial straits. As reported in this issue of the Trends Journal, the Turkish lira hit an all-time low against the dollar last week. And tourism, which accounts for some 12 percent of its GDP, has been killed by the coronavirus.
Thus, despite these two un-economically sound nations lacking the monetary resources to wage war, they will do so regardless of the financial consequences, since, as Gerald Celente says, “When all else fails, they take you to war.”

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