Mon, 07 Dec 2020 - 09:14 GMT
A member of the Libyan National Army fires a weapon during clashes with Islamist militants in Khreibish district in Benghazi, Libya, November 9, 2017.
CAIRO - 6 December 2020: The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) confirmed that while Libya is witnessing a new political process following the Libyan-Libyan agreement, the issue of mercenaries is returning to the fore again.
SOHR said in a statement that sources reported that the return flights carrying mercenaries of the pro-Ankara factions to Syria stopped more than 20 days ago, after the return of the previous batch from Libya to Syria in mid-November.
The observatory revealed Turkey's intention to send a new batch of mercenaries from the Syrian factions to Libya in the coming days.
It is noteworthy that the number of recruits, who have gone to the Libyan lands so far, has reached about 18,000 mercenaries of Syrian nationality, including 350 children under the age of 18. The majority of these child soldiers were recruited by the ‘Sultan Murad’ militia that exploited their personal hardships to get them to enlist.
About 10,750 mercenaries of the pro-Turkish factions returned to Syria after their contracts expired and their financial dues paid. The number of jihadists who arrived in Libya reached 10,000, of whom 2,500 were Tunisians.
It is also reported that the death toll of the mercenaries of the pro-Ankara Syrian factions in Libya has reached 496.
Since January, Turkey has been transporting Syrian mercenaries into the North African state and has sent military officers and experts to command the operation rooms of the militias affiliated to the GNA.
Ankara continues to escalate its involvement in the Libyan conflict by supporting the Government of National Accord (GNA), despite Turkey participating and agreeing to the results of the Berlin Conference held last January where foreign states active in Libya agreed to uphold the UN arms embargo.
SOHR has been steadfast in its monitoring of Syrian fighters deployed by Turkey to fight in the Libyan conflict in support of the Government of National Accord (GNA). The bulk of Syrian casualties are from the following factions: al-Mu’tasim Division, Sultan Murad, Suqur Al-Shamal Brigade, Al-Hamzat, and Suleiman Shah.
Civil war broke out in Libya after the toppling of long-time ruler Muammer Gaddafi in 2011, who was later killed. Numerous militias are fighting for power and influence in the country, with Tripoli-allied militias backed by Turkey, Qatar and Italy. Meanwhile, eastern-based military commander Khalifa Haftar’s Libyan National Army is backed by the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, France and Russia.