Living under the nearly year-long assault of forces loyal to renegade military commander Khalifa Haftar, residents of the Libyan capital Tripoli said they are "relieved" that a motion authorizing the deployment of Turkish troops was ratified in Turkey's parliament.
The Turkish parliament ratified on Thursday a motion authorizing the government to send troops to Libya following deals on military cooperation and maritime boundaries in the Eastern Mediterranean that were struck between Ankara and Libya's UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) on Nov. 27.
Calling the recent deals "a historic step", Libya oil field worker Ali Caravan, 34, told Anadolu Agency: "History will remember Nov. 27, the memorandums of understanding (MoU) signed between Turkey and Libya, saying they gained Libya thousands of years."
Since the ouster of late leader Gaddafi in 2011, two seats of power have emerged in Libya: Haftar in eastern Libya supported mainly by Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, and the GNA in the capital Tripoli, which enjoys UN and international recognition.
Caravan said he witnessed the killing of Libyan youth by Russian Wagner mercenaries and Egyptians, adding that the day of ratification brought a joyful atmosphere in Tripoli, like the day the UN Security Council decided in favor of international intervention against Gaddafi in 2011.
Recalling that the move had been celebrated with fireworks, he said: "The people of Tripoli know that this motion carries the aim of stopping a barbaric attack."
- MoU signed 'right on time’
Jamal Titi, a member of a local foundation, thanked the Turkish government and people who "showed a brave and historic stance to stand with people of Libya who show self-defense against violent attacks."
Emphasizing that the memorandums were signed "right on time", Titi said: "The memorandum was signed just when those who have their eyes on the Mediterranean came together to share the wealth of the region and deprive Turkey of even its own resources."
"If it was not for this memorandum, the situation of the honored people living in the lands of Libya would be very difficult," he said, adding that they are relieved thanks to the bilateral ties getting closer.
Titi also noted that Libyans had waited for Turkey's military, technical and logistical support against attacks by foreign mercenaries of Haftar forces.
Agricultural engineer Mahmud Durgam, 42, underlined that the MoU was signed by two sovereign countries and added that it "protects the interests of the governments and people of both Libya and Turkey."
Noting Haftar's forces had committed crimes in the eastern parts of the country, Durgam asserted that they continued to do so now in the southern parts.
He said the attacks have been destroying Libya over the past four years, but that they would rebuild the country with "Turkish brothers and sisters".
- Turkey’s military motion
Turkey's parliament passed a motion allowing the deployment of troops in Libya for one year in order to respond to threats from illegitimate armed groups and other terror groups targeting both countries' national interests.
The resolution also aims to provide security in Libya in the face of any possible mass migration and to provide Libyans with humanitarian aid.
Turkish forces will be able to launch an "operation and [military] intervention" to protect Turkey's interests and prevent future irreparable situations.
Libya has remained beset by turmoil since 2011 when a bloody NATO-backed uprising led to the ouster and death of long-serving President Muammar Gaddafi after more than four decades in power.
Since then, Libya’s stark political divisions have yielded two rival seats of power -- one in Tobruk and another in Tripoli -- and a host of heavily-armed militia groups.
Reporting by Enes Canli and Mahmut Geldi in Tripoli
Writing by Sena Guler