July 8th 2020
In a noticeable step in terms of timing and location, the Turkish Navy announced that it would soon conduct massive naval exercises off the Libyan coast. Turkish media quoted the navy as saying that the expected maneuvers would be called "Naftex", and would take place off the Libyan coast in 3 different regions, and each would bear a special name, which is "Barbaros", "Targot Rais" and "Chaka Bay".
Furthermore, the Turkey-based Yeni Safak newspaper revealed that the military exercises will take place imminently, and that they are training in anticipation of any war in the eastern Mediterranean, in addition to what has been described as escalating tensions in Libya between Egypt and Turkey.
Commenting on the Turkish military maneuvers off the coast of Libya, Egyptian military expert Major General Samir Ragheb said that it is a dangerous diplomatic message called "battleship diplomacy".
Ragheb said in an interview with RT Arabic this week that the Turkish military maneuvers are sending a stern warning to Ankara's enemies that they are willing to use its armed forces to combat any threat.
The Egyptian military expert considered that these maneuvers came in response to the destruction of the Turkish air defense system at the Al-Watiyah military base south of the Libyan capital, Tripoli last week.
In particular, Ragheb believes Turkey is sending a message to Egypt, who is currently watching the events in Libya very closely, especially at the Sirte front in the north-central part of the country.
The Egyptian military expert said that the Turkish naval exercises along the Libyan coast is not a surprise because Ankara is trying to scare its enemies.
He added that these naval exercises will not influence Egypt's decision about Sirte and Al-Jafra, pointing out that they remain "red lines" for Cairo.