SOHR: Turkey Intends to Send New Batch of Syrian Mercenaries to Libya

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On Saturday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) confirmed that Turkey intends to send a new batch of Syrian mercenaries to Libya during the coming days.

In a statement, the SOHR stated that the return of pro-Ankara Syrian factions from Libya to Syria had been stopped more than 20 days ago, adding that the latest batch had returned in mid-November.

According to the Observatory, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan decided to intervene directly in the Libyan civil war in December 2019 to support the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA). The Turkish president did so with a total of 18,000 Syrian mercenaries, including 350 child soldiers.

The SOHR pointed out that 496 of these mercenaries, including several minors, perished in Libya, while several hundred more were injured or went missing after they were recruited.

It also stated that a total of 10,750 returned to Syria after completing the duration of their contracts and receiving their salary fees. According to an investigation by the Spanish EFE Agency, their salary fees are around 1,500 euros, with a premium of 4,000 euros for those injured and 10,000 euros for the family of those killed in battle.

The SOHR also warned that some 2,500 Tunisians are among the private fighters sent by Turkey to Libya, many of whom are linked to jihadist groups.

According to the London-based Observatory, the number of Syrian soldiers transferred to Azerbaijan for the war with Armenia amounted to 2,580, of which 342 have already returned “after giving up everything, including financial incentives.”