Egyptian military to beef up protection of western borders with Libya

The Egyptian army has been instructed to beef up its presence in the west, near the border with Libya for fear that terrorist elements might attempt infiltrate into the country after forces aligned with UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) took control of key airbase from ally General Khalifa Haftar.

Bassem Rady, spokesperson for the Egyptian presidency in a Facebook statement said the President called on the Armed Forces to show utmost combat readiness to protect Egypt’s national security and beef up efforts to control borders and prosecute terrorist elements, especially in northern Sinai as well as the western region.

The instruction came during a briefing Monday between the Egyptian President and the Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces, Minister of Defense and War Production, and the chairman of the Armed Forces Operations Authority, Chairman of the Armed Forces following seizure by the GNA of Wattiyah airbase from Egypt-backed Haftar.

GNA-affiliated forces, backed by Turkey, took control of the key airbase in western Libya with almost no resistance.

Egypt and Haftar have accused the GNA of housing terrorists and members of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood.

Egypt is extremely worried that GNA-aligned troops would push further eastward near Egypt’s western borders, the spokesman said.

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