France 24: Syrian Mercenaries in Libya Robbed of their Wages

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Many of the Syrian fighters deployed in foreign conflict theatres such as Libya are “robbed of their wages”, according to France 24 news agency.

In Libya, which has been conflict-ridden for the past decade, Turkey has supported the outgoing Government of National Accord (GNA) with Syrian fighters and Turkish advisors.

Mercenaries recruited from Syria were offered deals, sometimes in written contracts, fetching $3,000 in monthly pay with compensation to their families of $75,000 in case of death. The Turkish government has promised some even Turkish citizenships.

The report recounts the case of a fighter sent to Libya with a brigade from the SNA-led Sultan Murad division who said top officers tried to seize the wages of the rank-and-file. “We went three months without being paid, and after we each asked for an advance of $300 they only gave us 100 and kept the rest,” the fighter testified.

A broker who organised recruitment drives for Turkey is quoted in the report saying “contracts are always breached”. Issues of unpaid compensation were also reported after Syrian mercenaries were killed in Libya and in Nagorno-Karabakh.

Mohammad al-Abdallah, executive director of the Syria Justice and Accountability Centre (SJAC) said burglaries, sex trafficking and kidnappings committed by Syrian mercenaries were reported in Libya.