Libyans have expressed opposition to Turkey’s troop deployment in the country, insisting that Libya’s internal issues should be addressed by Libyans.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Turkey is “gradually” sending troops to Libya under a deal inked with its UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) headed by Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj to provide military support to the GNA.

Libyans have also criticized Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj’s move to seek military reinforcement from Turkey, fearing that it is a green light for other foreign forces to directly intervene in Libya.

“The decision is unpatriotic. How can we ask another country to help us maintain stability and fight terrorism? Turkey is not even an Arabic country. It is a foreign country. We want our stable life to remain as it is now.” said Nour Al-Din Mokhtar, a local.

“None of us agree on this, no one will be happy about it. If Turkey intervenes, it means colonization – it will exploit Libya’s resources,” said Rami Amnina, another local.

The Libyan conflict escalated in 2014, splitting power between two rival governments: the GNA based in the capital Tripoli and another in the northeastern city of Tobruk which is allied with the self-proclaimed Libyan National Army (LNA) led by Khalifa Haftar.

The battle for control over Libya has left thousands dead, displacing hundreds of thousands others.

Most Libyans are holding on the hope that a resolution to the conflict will be eventually found.