SOHR: Ankara Keeps Recruiting Syrian Fighters Despite Ceasefire Declared in Libya

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The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported that Turkey was still recruiting Syrian fighters, despite the ceasefire declared in Libya by the Presidential Council of Libya’s Government of National Accord (GNA) and Libya’s Parliament.

SOHR’s monitoring group claimed that a new batch of Syrian militants, who were recruited from Aleppo and Idlib, had arrived in training camps in Turkey.

For now, the destination of these mercenaries after their training is not known but it is possible the Turkish government would continue to force them into Libya to fight, especially after the Libyan-Libyan agreement.

Previously, the SOHR claimed that a new batch of fighters from Syrian factions loyal to Turkey was transferred to Libya to fight alongside the GNA in its war against the Libyan National Army (LNA), led by Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar.

Turkish intelligence has transferred at least 120 fighters from factions such as Suleiman Shah, Legion of Sham, and Sultan Murad, which were taken from Syria’s Afrin region to Turkey and then to Libya.

Since last year, Turkey has deployed 17,420 Syrian militants in Libya, including 350 minors, to support the GNA.

The GNA, which is based in the west of the country, announced on Friday morning a ceasefire across the country. It also called for the demilitarisation of the contested strategic cities of Sirte and Al-Jufrah, which are controlled by the LNA.

In a separate statement, Ageela Saleh, the Parliament Speaker, also called for a ceasefire. Both administrations have called for an end to the oil blockade imposed earlier this year. The Tripoli-based government also called for parliamentary and presidential elections to be held in March.