Turkey to Withdraw Mercenaries from Libya


On Friday, a Turkey security delegation visited Tripoli and Misrata, informing officials of the transfer of a new batch of Syrian mercenaries outside the country early next week, according to Al-Arabiya news.

The Turkish delegation met with Libya’s 5+5 Joint Military Commission (JMC) in Tripoli, and held a tripartite meeting with an “Italian security delegation in order to coordinate security and logistical efforts.”

Al-Arabiya mentioned that the Turkish delegation also met Presidential candidate and former Interior Minister, Fathi Bashagha in Misrata. It noted that Ankara wants to appoint another envoy with, “wider powers” than its Ambassador in Libya.

Turkey sent thousands of Syrian mercenaries to support the previous Government of National Accord (GNA), to fight the Libyan National Army (LNA) led by Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar.

Last week, JMC member, Emarji Al-Amami said that the Libyan National Army (LNA) deported 300 Sudanese fighters last week.

Al-Amami told Fawasel Media that the deportation of the fighters came in accordance with the “goodwill initiative of the LNA, and are now waiting for a similar action from the other side in western Libya.”

“The Military Commission is in a permanent meeting, in constant communication, and is working to accomplish its assigned tasks,” he noted
“We hope that the politicians will reach an agreement that will bring the country out of its current situation,” he added.

Al-Amami indicated that the JMC is awaiting the exit mechanisms of the Turkish and Russian forces. Russia and Turkey will put these mechanisms under the supervision of the international community. “International observers will monitor the withdrawal of the foreign forces,” he concluded.

Notably, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) stated on 10 October, that a new batch of 100 Syrian mercenaries had been repatriated to Syria. This coincided with the back-and-forth transfer operations of mercenaries. The batch also contained fighters who were transported to Libya in 2019, the SOHR said.

Libyan Foreign Minister, Najla Al-Mangoush told Reuters in October, that some foreign fighters have left the country. This comes as the government seeks to mobilize international support to withdraw the remaining forces.

“The reports are correct. There is a very modest start,” Al-Mangoush said at a news conference in Kuwait. “We are still seeking a larger and comprehensive organisation for the exit of mercenaries,” she added.

The ceasefire agreement between Libya’s warring parties called for all foreign mercenaries to be withdrawn within three months of its signing in October 2020.