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Sunday, November 28, 2021

SOHR: 300 Mercenaries Depart Libya for Syria

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported the return of the first batch of Syrian mercenaries from Libya. A plane carrying about 300 Syrian fighters arrived in Turkey, and were transferred to Syria.

The Observatory pointed out that this comes as part of the process of withdrawing foreign forces from Libya. As well as in light of the expected meeting of in Geneva on the issue of mercenaries in Libya.

On Sunday, SOHR reported that over the past few days a number of fighters returned to Syria and were replaced with a new batch of 90 fighters, in a regular exchange process.

Last week, sources revealed to the SOHR that preparations are underway to return a batch of Turkish-backed Syrian mercenaries, stationed in military camps in Libya.

Leaders of these militias have been asked by Turkish Intelligence to prepare for the withdrawal of 2,000 of their fighters. This comes amid breakthroughs reached by Libya’s Joint Military Commission (JMC), which is tasked with ensuring the withdrawal of all foreign forces.

The SOHR pointed out that an estimated 7,000 Syrian mercenaries are stationed in Libya. Their commanders have begun providing salaries to these fighters, estimated at 2,500 Turkish Liras ($300 USD) each. This is following a threat of rebellion and broad discontent over delayed payments.

According to SOHR, multiple fighters refused to join exercises and take part in military drills, instead protesting an alleged reduction in their salaries.

In addition, the mercenaries accused their commanders of stealing their money and preventing them from returning home, following a $1,000 dollar fine imposed on each fighter wishing to return to Syria.

The Observatory also pointed out that nearly 10,000 jihadists, mostly Tunisians, were transported from Syria to Libya in 2020.

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