SOHR: Turkey Arrests Sahel Army Commander for Refusing Fighting in Libya

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On Wednesday, the director of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), Rami Abdel-Rahman, stated that the Turkish government has given orders to Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham to arrest, Fadl Al-Libi, the commander of the Al-Qaeda affiliated Sahel Army. This is due to Al-Libi’s refusal to leave Syria, and fight alongside the Government of National Accord (GNA) in Libya.

In press statements, Abdel-Rahman added that five members were arrested, two of them being European nationals of North African descent, including ‘Fadl Al-Libi’. In addition, there were two other Libyan nationals who refused to fight in Libya.

The SOHR director explained that extremist groups have been present in the mountains of the Syrian coast since 2013. Adding that they were fighting in that region under various Jihadi groups. They have since joined what is known as the Guardians of Religion organisation and are refusing to obey Turkish orders to travel to Libya.

Notably, a growing number of Syrian fighters have refused to be recruited in the ranks of the GNA, due to the high number of casualties in the Libyan conflict, as well as failure to pay them their financial dues of $2,000 dollars per month. The Observatory pointed out that Turkey is pressuring Syrian commanders, loyal to Ankara to send more fighters to Libya.