Turkey-backed Jihadis Could Drag Libya Back into Chaos
Islamist groups and foreign militias could rain on the parade, and return Libya to the quagmire of civil war. Of particular concern are not only established groups like the Muslim Brotherhood, but also the thousands of jihadis that were shipped into the country by Turkey, which is using Libya’s fragility to increase its own influence in North Africa. With the upcoming elections dependent on the delicate ceasefire between the rival authorities in Tripoli and Tobruk, fears mount that armed militias could cause the tentative agreements to crumble and throw Libya back into civil war.
Islamist groups, like the International Muslim Brotherhood, are hedging their bets by being active both on the battlefield and at the polls. Extremist activity in the country has increased since Turkey, who supported the authorities in Tripoli during the civil war, has begun to ship into the country jihadis and mercenaries previously active in the Syrian war.
The prospect of a secular and democratic Libya is obstructed by the highly divorced nature of the conflict. Many of the groups involved, from the Muslim Brotherhood to the Turkish-backed jihadis, pledged their allegiance to the Tripoli faction, while General Haftar is hailed as a hero in Tobruk for defeating Islamist militias in the country’s east.