Sputnik carried out interviews with Syrian mercenaries captured by the LNA in Western Libya, showing evidence that they were “tricked” and motivated by money.
One Syrian mercenary, Mohamed Ibrahim Adawi who was captured in the Abu Salem axis of Tripoli said: “when we left our village in Syria, we knew that we were going to Libya but we did not know that we were going to be fighting. We were informed that we would be guarding Turkish bases as part of the Turkey-Libya agreement.”
Adawi went on to add that “around 190 Syrians protested their conditions upon their arrival in Libya, but were immediately detained”.
Another prisoner of the LNA, Mohamed Eid Zidan said that he too found himself surprised upon arrival in Libya, saying that he was informed by Turkish officers that he would be on a three months contract to guard oil facilities where he would earn 2000 USD a month. He is yet to receive such a sum from Turkey.
The two Syrian men went on to explain that their plans were to get to Libya and serve their three months to cash in their salaries. They explained that they receive their orders from their superiors in Syria via WhatsApp, including the express rule “not to disobey orders you are given” and to carry out the terms of their three months contract that requires them to protect the Government of National Accord.
Mohamed added that the primary motive for fighters arriving from Syria was the money. He added that Syrians did not give much attention to what their contract entailed, be it fighting on the front lines or protecting facilities. For some, travelling to Libya also presents an opportunity to travel to another country in North Africa or towards Europe.
According to both men, their salary is to be transferred to their Syrian leadership in Libya, who are responsible for distributing the sums to mercenaries.