On Tuesday, the Director of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), Rami Abdel-Rahman, claimed that pro-Turkish Syrian militia, Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS or the “Organisation for the Liberation of the Levant”), was arresting what he dubbed “jihadists” who have refused to fight in Libya.
Abdel-Rahman confirmed in a phone call to ‘Al-Ghad’ television channel that Turkey continues to recruit mercenaries and extremists to send to Libya. This is to fight on behalf of the Government of National Accord (GNA).
A number of these fighters have already been detained by HTS, according to Abdel-Rahman. This includes a prominent militia leader, who is a Libyan national.
Abdel Rahman alleged that approximately 17,000 fighters, of which 10,000 are non-Syrians, including 2,500 Tunisian nationals, have gone to Libya. He pointed out that they had all travelled via Turkey, with the support of Turkish intelligence.
Ankara continues to escalate its involvement in the Libyan conflict, by supporting the Tripoli-based GNA. This is despite Turkey participating in, and agreeing to the outputs of the Berlin Conference, and the upholding of the UN arms embargo.