The Director of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), Rami Abdel-Rahman, confirmed that Turkey has been transferring thousands of IS, and Al-Qaeda militants to Libya, to fight alongside the Government of National Accord (GNA).
In a statement to ‘Al-Hurra’ news site, Abdel-Rahman said: “We have documented information that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, is sending former elements from Al-Qaeda, and IS to Libya” pointing out that the process began last October.
It is estimated that 9,000 fighters have been transported from Idlib to Libya. This includes dozens of fighters known to SOHR, who fought alongside IS, who then fled to the northern countryside of Aleppo, and are now confirmed to be in Libya.
“There are also non-Syrian elements affiliated with jihadist organizations inside Syria, who are transferred to Libya, the majority of whom are Tunisian”
“These documented transfers to Libya are conclusive evidence that Ankara has direct links to IS, and Al-Qaeda, despite its claim that it is fighting them.” Abdel-Rahman went on to ask, “Is it possible that there are no international intelligence services, to monitor the transfers that are taking place from Syria?”
“We have reliable information about the presence of new jihadi elements that Turkey is preparing to send to Libya”. He said, warning of the repercussions of sending such groups to North Africa.
The SOHR’s director considered the sending off jihadists to Libya did not mean that their mission in Syria has ended. It is rather a priority for Turkey after the Russian-Turkish agreement on Syria, concluding his speech with a question: “There are many IS members who were detained in Turkish prisons north of Aleppo, where are they now?”