Day 170: Watching Libya, Egypt and Turkey

Today is Friday, June 26, 2020. It is Day 170 since the grace period began.

A civil war within Libya, ongoing since 2014, is starting to draw in neighboring nations. The two factions fighting each other, to be the official government of Libya, are the Libyan National Army (LNA) backed by Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Jordan, and Egypt, and the Government of National Accord (GNA) backed by Turkey.

To many this may appear as just another Mideast war, but with the Signposts in view, this war has a potential to cause Signpost-related readying events to occur.

For example, Turkey has cast in its lot on one side to be able to eventually have some of Libya’s oil, since Turkey has none of its own, and Libya was once an Ottoman province. However, with Egypt joining in on the GNA’s opposition, with its army being made ready to fight in Libya, there may be a potential for all-out war between Turkey and Egypt.

If this were to occur, Turkey’s forces would be partially tied down as mentioned in this earlier post (but due to a different reason, a new Balkan war), and could Egypt see the secular government supported by its military being toppled and replaced by an Islamist government?

It may seem far-fetched but this scenario could not only encourage Iran’s invasion to occur with Turkey’s forces occupied, but the path would be made to allow Turkey and Egypt to be allies, as the Third Signpost suggests.

Events in Libya will bear watching as they have already elsewhere in the Middle East.

Categories: In The News, The Signpost Perspective

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14 replies

  1. In bringing his 2011 783-page book “The Great Sea” to a conclusion, David Abulafia acknowledged that the Mediterranean is no longer “the most vigorous place of interaction between different societies on the face of the planet,” which earlier chapters had shown. He left readers thinking that the Mediterranean is now a sleepy-eyed area for touring and recreational pleasures.

    In the last few months “vigorous interaction” has returned in the form of naval maneuverings for control of natural gas deposits under the Mediterranean, which Israel was the first to tap into. Turkey’s alliance with Libya is meant to provide a legal basis for preventing Israel from laying down a pipeline to Greece. There was a naval confrontation between Turkey and Israel over Cyprus, which has a buffer zone between the Greek and Turkish portions of that island. Turkey is demanding that the Turkish side should share the proceeds of any natural gas drilling enterprise between Israel and the Greek side of Cyprus.

    Turks have joked that with almost all islands between Turkey and Greece owned by Greece, some of them near Turkey’s coast, Turks can hardly cast fishing lines off their own coast without infringing on Greek waters.

    Turkey claims that it has more Mediterranean-Black-Sea coastline than any other country, and should have control over much of the Aegean and eastern Mediterranean.

    Abulafia wrote about Russian naval aspirations in the Mediterranean that failed to develop as hoped for. Three years after “The Great Sea” was published, Russia annexed Crimea on the Black Sea connected to the Mediterranean, and there now is a growing Russian naval presence in the Mediterranean.

    Iran has a naval base at Latakia, Syria, an arrangement that Soleimani had been involved with. “The eastern Mediterranean is becoming one of the most kinetic areas in the world,” said Admiral James Foggo, head of U.S. Naval Forces Europe and Africa.

  2. EEZs are Exclusive Economic Zones. Tensions over EEZs between Turkey and Greece may be at an all-time high. So far it is only a war of words. Greek City Times, published in English, has translated some of the verbal jabs. From

    Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu has protested that the Greek island of Kastellorizo, which “has only 500 residents and is located 2 kilometres away from the Turkish coast and 570 kilometres away from the Greek mainland” should not be able to “generate a 40,000 square kilometre maritime zone.” Perhaps to teach Greeks a lesson, Turkish Energy Minister Fatih Dönmez has announced that “a drilling vessel of the Turkish Petroleum Corporation will start oil exploration operations to the immediate south of the Greek island of Crete ‘within three to four months’.” In response, General Konstantinos Floros, the head of the Hellenic National Defense General Staff, said that Greece will not tolerate any violation of its sovereignty: “A military response is a possibility… whoever attacks Greek territory, we will first burn them and then see who it was.”

  3. In response, General Konstantinos Floros, the head of the Hellenic National Defense General Staff, said that Greece will not tolerate any violation of its sovereignty: “A military response is a possibility… whoever attacks Greek territory, we will first burn them and then see who it was.”

    Yikes. A defensive posture like that is a recipe for potential disaster, like when Iran shot down UIA PS752 while on the lookout for incoming airstrikes.

    It doesn’t really seem like that was just five months ago. Events are moving fast.

  4. “It may seem far-fetched but this scenario [involving Libya] could … encourage Iran’s invasion to occur with Turkey’s forces occupied.”

    Another candidate for a trigger could be conflicts between Turkey and Greece. On 2020-06-29, the President of the Hellenic Republic [i.e. Greece], Katerina Sakellaropoulou, visited the Greek island of Agathonísi, near the coast of Turkey.

    According to Wikipedia, the Agathonísi islands of 5.6 square miles have a population of only 185. The point of President Sakellaropoulou’s speech there was that the Hellenic Republic is prepared to defend even small islands. She knew that her speech would set off a firestorm of criticism in the Turkish media, and it did.
    On 2020-06-30, Turkish fighter jets flew over Agathonísi.
    Also on 2020-06-30, to show the world that the Hellenic Republic wants peace with Turkey, “Government spokesman Stelios Petsas announced the opening [on 2020-07-01] of the Kastanies border crossing at the Greek-Turkish border in Evros.”
    This announcement prompted criticism by Greeks: “Many … are questioning why the border crossing is opening again considering this year alone Turkey unleashed the migrant crisis, threatened to invade Greece’s Eastern Aegean islands, invade the rest of Cyprus, promised to steal Greek oil and gas to the south of Crete, said it will unleash a new migrant crisis at Evros, and conducted a fake news campaign…”

  5. According to Wikipedia, “TRT World is a Turkish state international news channel broadcast 24 hours per day in English.” TRT World also produces YouTube videos. Here are some three-minute videos that I find informative:

    concerning the Bosporus Strait between the European and Asian portions of Istanbul:

    concerning Turkey’s maritime deal with Libya:

    concerning Turkey’s military drones:

  6. Erdoğan and his wife live in the Presidential Complex in Ankara: It has “a situation room with satellite and military communications systems, bunkers able to withstand biological, nuclear and chemical weapons attack” and has “a 143 screen visual command center which correlates data obtained from UAVs [unmanned aerial vehicles = drones], MOBESE CCTV [surveillance cameras], TV and 3G transmissions from all 81 provinces of Turkey.” Something like that would be necessary for Turkey to be able to fulfill Daniel 8:5-7: “The goat had a conspicuous horn on its forehead. He came up to the two-horned ram that I had seen standing between me and the river and charged at him with furious force. I saw him reach the ram and rage at him; he struck the ram and broke its two horns, and the ram was powerless to withstand him” (1985 Jewish Publication Society translation). One great thing about Turkey’s Presidential Complex is its public library:

  7. Prismplay, I noticed that the goat in Daniel’s prophecy was soaring not touching the ground. The imagery of the one horn and goat not touching ground to me seems symbolic of a missile. A nuclear missile attack would do considerable damage to Iran’s forces to subdue them.

  8. Gary/Prism,
    In DR chapter 10 I propose an airlift. While Turkey has no great missile arsenal, it does have a great airlift capability. The goat runs/charges without touching the ground, which sounds like level, sustained flight to me.

  9. Would the projected airlift carry paratroopers? Wikipedia has a list of countries having paratrooper forces:
    If you click “View history,” you will see that there have been updates in 2020.

    All four countries projected to be in the third signpost confederacy have paratroopers. Here is an Albanian uniform patch:

    Egyptian paratroopers have a fiendish-looking patch, but I haven’t found a free source for it.
    Here is a Turkish patch:

    Syria’s special forces patch just happens to look like a leopard’s head:

  10. CORRECTION: Syria’s Special Forces are also called Tiger Forces, so their logo is a tiger and not a leopard. Tigers and leopards have the same style of attacking prey, blending into their surroundings and watching for prey to arrive.

    The four-headed leopard of Daniel 7 has wings, which could represent parachuting in special forces to hide and watch for the right moment to attack. The goat of Daniel 8 flies through the air without touching the ground to openly confront the ram, raging before breaking the ram’s horns. Perhaps the goat’s luxury of openly raging before defeating the ram was enabled by prior tiger/leopard-like surprise disabling attacks.

    In Daniel 7, Iran marauds like a bear; in Daniel 8, Iran is a charging ram. In Daniel 7, the four-nation confederacy is not described as defeating the bear: “dominion was given to it.” In Daniel 8 is the actual confrontation between the ram and the goat. The dominion of the ram will be “great.” But the dominion of the goat is to become “very great,” or as Tony the Tiger would say, “GRRREAT!”

  11. Another court challenge has hit the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline.

    This could affect America’s ability to recover from any Second Signpost global oil supply disruption.


    Protests, permit delays, and court challenges are on the upswing with the climate and environmental movements challenging pipeline developments in order to save the world from climate change.
    Tesla’s stock surges toward another record after the Street’s most bearish analyst boosts price target

    Logistics Report

    China’s Shipping Nears a Standstill Amid Coronavirus Disruption
    Executives say large container ships are leaving Chinese ports as little as 10% full, and sailings are being canceled as carriers brace for a financial retreat

    Workers in face masks roping a container ship at a port in Qingdao, Shandong province, on Feb. 11.
    Photo: china daily/Reuters
    Feb. 14, 2020 12:04 pm ET

    Shipping volumes out of China are plummeting as the impact of the coronavirus outbreak takes a deeper toll on industrial production, and ocean carriers are bracing for financial blows from the diminished output.

    “Substantially less cargo is being moved between China and the rest of the world” said Lars Jensen, head of Denmark-based maritime research group Sea-Intelligence. “Last week we had an additional 30 sailings canceled, with 23 across the Pacific and the rest to Europe.”

    Meanwhile, Elon Musk’s Tesla Motors company is doing great on the stock market, but if global supply chains get hammered even worse than they are now by COVID-19, rare earth elements, electronics, and other components will become scarce, expensive, and difficult for which to find alternative sources. Tesla cars also may not be adequately shielded against electromagnetic pulses or solar storms.

  13. Prism,
    DR chapter 11 presents the case that the four wings of the leopard have the same function as the goat whose hooves never touch the ground: to allow forces to have level flight over long distances.

  14. If competing national interests in the eastern Mediterranean Sea were converted into heat, the water there would be boiling. Normal evaporation there results in replacement water flowing in from the Black Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. Although political maneuverings by Turkey are the main source for political heat in the eastern Mediterranean, Erdogan is trying to provide Turkey with gas it does not have. Turkey gets gas via pipelines from Russia and Iran, and in the form of shipped-in liquified natural gas (LNG) that is regasified to flow through pipelines:
    Even though the USA has been Turkey’s main source for LNG, for diplomatic reasons the article only mentions “Qatar and Algeria.” When terrorists blew up a natural gas pipeline across Turkey’s border with Iran, because of the cheapness of American LNG, Turkey was slow to make repairs, which infuriated Iran. Only after several months was the pipeline repaired and Turkey again paying for Iranian gas.

    A solution for Turkey’s gas shortage would be doing what Israel has done, finding it underneath the Great Sea and piping it to where it is needed. Israel is now energy independent and selling surplus. Greek exclusive economic zones (EEZs) keep Turkey’s Mediterranean EEZs restricted to tiny areas. Turkey’s alliance with Libya is to set up EEZs extending across the Great Sea that can be used for gas exploration and also prevent Israel from laying down a pipeline to Greece, which also needs gas.

    When the Prime Minister of Greece visited the White House last January, asking Trump to condemn Turkey’s maneuverings, Trump changed the subject, probably because Turkey was buying American LNG. However, the USA is now beginning to criticize Turkey:

    Turkey is demanding that Greece demilitarize 16 Greek islands in the Aegean Sea:
    Military tensions between Greece and Turkey are heating up:

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