15 – 21 July: Libyan tribal chiefs authorise Egyptian intervention

Jul 22, 2020 | Libyan actors

On 16 July, Egyptian President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi met with a delegation of Libyan tribal chiefs in Cairo to discuss Egyptian intervention in Libya. During their meeting, Sisi told the chiefs that ‘Egypt will not stand still in the face of actions that pose a strong and direct threat not only for the Egyptian and Libyan national security but also for the Arab, regional and international’ security. The tribal leaders told Sisi that they authorised him and the Egyptian army to intervene in Libya, in order to counter what they described as ‘the Turkish invasion and terrorism’.

Throughout the week, forces build up and posturing continued on Sirte frontlines. There has been a continuous build-up of additional forces on both the Government of National Accord (GNA) coalition and the Libyan National Army (LNA) coalition. GNA forces are reportedly amassing at Tawergha, south of Misrata, with some frontline forces allegedly having been pulled back from the frontlines to the town as the forces are rearranged. On 17 July, a Turkish Air Force C-130 cargo aircraft landed directly at al-Watiya Airbase from Turkey. This is the second documented Turkish military aircraft landing directly at the airbase.

On 15 July, Libyan judicial officials said that the international audit of the Tripoli-based Central Bank of Libya (CBL) and the parallel eastern-based CBL would begin. The announcement came a day after state prosecutor Sadiq al-Sour addressed CBL Governor Sadiq al-Kabir and Audit Bureau head Khaled Shakshak, demanding that payment for the audit be processed.

On 15 July, the GNA’s Joint Operations Room issued letters to armed groups in 12 civilian locations around Tripoli, demanding that they evacuate their headquarters in those locations within 24 hours. The Joint Operations Room had reportedly issued a warning to the groups the previous day, giving them 48 hours to evacuate their headquarters and to transfer to the camp of the Second Brigade. The letters also threatened action against those who refused to comply.