On Saturday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) announced that Turkey sent a new group of Syrian mercenaries to Libya. Turkey did this despite local and international demands to withdraw all foreign forces from the North African country.
In a statement, the SOHR said 250 mercenaries from the pro-Ankara Libyan National Army (LNA), including the Al-Majd Corps, Sultan Murad, and Al-Hamza Divisions, arrived in Tripoli on Friday.
This group was sent to replace 250 mercenaries who left Libyan territories to return to Syria.
They noted that some of the mercenaries who were sent to Libya paid their leaders $250 to make them travel to Tripoli.
On January 27th, the SOHR reported that Turkish forces cancelled the flight to repatriate a group of mercenaries from Libya to Syria through Turkey.
On January 10th, reliable sources informed the SOHR that the mercenaries in Libya reportedly received the second half of their salaries, an estimated $300.
It claimed that the total payments in January amounted to $900 each, while 10,500 Turkish Liras were delivered to their relatives in Aleppo. On the 2nd of January, the SOHR activists reported that the mercenaries received the salaries after a seven-month delay.
Last week, the SOHR reported that the Turkish government intended to maintain employing mercenaries, despite international calls for all foreign forces to withdraw from Libya.
An estimated 7,000 Syrian fighters are believed to remain in Libya, according to the SOHR.
Notably, on the 10th of October, a new group of 100 Syrian fighters had been repatriated to Syria. This coincided with the back-and-forth transfer operations of mercenaries. The group also contained fighters who were transported to Libya in 2019, the SOHR said.
Libyan Foreign Minister, Najla Al-Mangoush, told Reuters in October that many foreign fighters had left the country. This comes as the government seeks to mobilize international support to withdraw the remaining forces.
The ceasefire agreement between Libya’s warring parties called for all foreign mercenaries to be withdrawn within three months of its signing in October 2020.