SOHR: 150 Foreign Child Soldiers in Libya

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The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) stated that it is continuously monitoring the transport of foreign fighters to Libya, via Turkey. According to Observatory sources, pro-Ankara militias in Syria, continue to recruit, and send adolescents to fight in Libya.

The Syrian Observatory’s sources have claimed that many children under the age of 18 have left Idlib and Aleppo to Turkish controlled Afrin looking for work. It is here, where they are then recruited by militias to fight alongside Government of National Accord (GNA) forces, in their battles against the Libyan National Army (LNA).

In one case of a fifteen year old boy, who had left his displaced camp for work in Afrin. SOHR reported that the boy’s parents then discovered photos of him in Libya, after being recruited by Sultan Murad’s militia. They were later informed that he was killed during a battle with the LNA.

The Observatory added that the number of foreign fighters in Libya, had now reached 8,700, including non-Syrians. The number of recruits currently training in Turkish camps, is estimated at around 3,550 recruits.

SOHR announced on the 11th of May, that the bodies of eleven Syrian fighters killed in Libya had arrived in Turkish-controlled northern Syria. It added that approximately 120 fighters, were presumed to be under the age of 18. The death toll among Syrians fighting in Libya had reached 287 including 16 children under the age of 18, according to the Observatory.

The SOHR stated that the deaths comes from the following Syrian armed groups: Al-Mu’tasim Division, Sultan Murad, Suqur Al-Shamal Brigade, Al-Hamzat, and Suleiman Shah.