218 News: Syrian Mercenaries Sent Back to Turkey from Libya

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On Sunday, a source revealed to 218 TV that a Libyan Airlines’ A320 flight took off this morning from Tripoli’s Mitiga International Airport to transport Syrian mercenaries to Istanbul.

This flight is not the first in the last two days, as the same source confirmed that Syrian mercenaries numbering between 150 and 180 left Tripoli on Saturday via Mitiga Airport and headed to Istanbul.

On Friday, dozens of Syrian mercenaries demonstrated against the delay in the payment of their salaries inside Tripoli’s Police College, according to a video leaked from within the barracks and reported by ‘Al-Saa’a 24’.

Informed sources told the news channel that finances are the main reason for the uproar, as the mercenaries’ salaries have been delayed for the past five months. The sources pointed out that the mercenaries’ late dues amounted to $10,000 each.

Turkey supports the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA) with weapons and foreign mercenaries against the eastern-based Libyan National Army (LNA) led by Field Marshall Khalifa Haftar.

On Sunday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) stated that there is reliable information confirming Turkey’s intention to send a new batch of mercenaries to Libya in the coming days.

The SOHR claimed that since mid-November, Ankara has stopped repatriating fighters who were previously sent back to Turkey and Syria. The presence of foreign fighters inside Libya continues despite ongoing negotiations for a political solution, following the October ceasefire agreement in Geneva.

The SOHR pointed out that the number of mercenaries sent to Libya is estimated at 18,000, with 350 being under the age of eighteen. The Observatory’s report said that 10,750 have been returned to Syria after the end of their contracts and after obtaining their financial dues. It also indicated that the Syrian mercenaries’ death toll is believed to have reached 496.