Trump Calls for Libya Deescalation in Call With Turkey’s Erdogan

Turkey-backed forces have been making gains in Libya

After weeks of military gains by Libya’s Government of National Accord (GNA), President Trump has called for a deescalation during his phone call with Turkey’s President Erdogan. Turkey is the GNA’s only foreign ally.

This is bound to once again raise questions about the US position. Nominally the US is backing the GNA, but at times Trump has expressed support for their enemy, the Libyan National Army (LNA). The deescalation would be seen as bailing out the LNA from recent losses.

The LNA has a lot of foreign allies, from France and Russia to virtually the whole list of Gulf Arab states. LNA leader Khalifa Hafter, was a CIA asset in the past, and the US has criticized Russia for being too close with him, despite their own long history of backing him.

It’s not clear where Turkey is going with this, as they mostly want maritime rights and a military base. Those are likely secured already, but the GNA probably feels very little need to step down in the face of recent gains.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.