New Batch of Syrian Mercenaries Departs Libya

New Batch of Syrian Mercenaries Departs Libya
New Batch of Syrian Mercenaries Departs Libya

On Saturday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) revealed that a new batch of Turkish-baked Syrian mercenaries have left Libya for Ankara.

In a statement, SOHR indicated that dozens of Syrian mercenaries left Libya for Turkey. This coincided with the preparations for the sending of a new batch of mercenaries to Libya, which arrived in Turkey a few days ago.

The Observatory indicated that the resumption of back-and-forth transfer operation of Turkish-backed Syrian mercenaries in Libya, comes after a 50 day-hiatus.

According to SOHR sources, hundreds of mercenaries were waiting for permission to spend their leaves in Syria, while hundreds of fighters in Syria were waiting to be transported to Libya. However, the reasons behind the suspension remain unknown, the statement explained.

SOHR confirmed that Turkey has failed to pay the salaries of the mercenaries stationed in Libya’s Yarmouk camp for five consecutive months.

In a statement, the SOHR said that this comes amid calls by those mercenaries to stage protests over their overdue salaries.

According to reliable sources, SOHR claims that “fear has spread among members of the Syrian National Army, who are stationed inside the Yarmouk camp, located in areas controlled by the Libyan Government of National Unity (GNU). This is against the backdrop of the military operations launched by Turkey in its ‘Euphrates Shield’ areas of northern Syria, which has been held by pro-Turkish Syrian opposition fighters since 2016.”

The Observatory has recently reported that the Yarmouk camp is witnessing escalating disputes between the mercenaries. This is due to the fact that they are unable to visit Syria, and that the mercenary exchanges have stopped.

Many of the mercenaries have been stationed in Libya for two years, without having returned under leave or exchanged to Syrian territory.

The SOHR sources confirmed that militia leaders “continued to steal parts of their salaries.” In addition, the fighters are not being provided with food allowances.

Two mercenaries reportedly fled to neighbouring Algeria, in a bid to travel onward to Europe. Turkish intelligence reportedly arrested the brother of one of the men, to pressure him to return to Libya.