المرصد السوري لحقوق الانسان
The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights

Turkey’s involvement in Libya war | 150 Syrian children recruited and sent to fight in Libya, 16 killed

12,250 Syrian mercenaries volunteer to join fighting in Libya, while 287 killed in Libyan territory so far

Syrian Observatory continues monitoring and tracking Turkish ongoing operations to transfer Syrian mercenaries to Libya, and revealing new statistics and details obtained from very reliable sources, shedding light on the issue of recruiting and sending children by Turkish-backed factions to fight in Libya.

 

Reliable SOHR sources say that many children under the age of eighteen come from Idlib and north Aleppo countryside to Afrin, pretending to search for work. Some of these children have left to Afrin even without telling their families. Turkish-backed factions in Afrin recruit these children and send them to engage in fighting in the side of the “Government of National Accord” against Hafter’s forces in Libyan territory.

 

SOHR has obtained new details on one of such incidents of a 15-year-old boy. According to reliable sources. The boy have left to Afrin comming from a refugee camp where he used to live with his family, in order to serve as a farmhand. The boy kept in touch with his family for nearly 20 days, then they lost communication with the boy. The boy’s family were shocked when the boy appeared later in a video footage fighting under the banner of Syrian factions in Libya.

 

After searching and inquiries by the family, they knew that their son was recruited in the ranks of “Sultan Murad” Division which denied this claim at the beginning, while the boy’s family was heading to the faction’s headquarters in Afrin city. After many visits by the family to “Sultan Murad” headquarters, members of the factions tried to get rid of the family’s insistence on asking after their son by telling them that the boy was killed in battles in Libya.

 

The real fate of the boy remains unknown. However, when someone asks his family about their son’s body, they answer “it was captured by Hafter’s forces.”

 

Another example, among many, a young man from the eastern countryside of Idlib told his family that he was going to work in Afrin. His family were surprised when the young man appeared in a video footage captured in Libya. The family headed to Afrin to ask after their son, in which they came to know that the young man had joined the ranks of “Sultan Murad” Division and killed in Libya. The family could not able to get their son’s body as it was captured by Haftar’s forces, according to what the faction’s commander said.

 

A few days later, the family returned to the faction’s headquarters in Afrin demanding a compensation but the factions refused to give them any money.

 

As a new batch of mercenaries have arrived in Libya, the number of recruits who arrived in Libya has risen to 8,700 mercenaries, including a group of non-Syrian mercenaries, while nearly 3,550 others arrived in Turkey to undergo training courses.

 

Among the total number of recruits, some 150 children between the ages of sixteen and eighteen, have been recruited to fight in Libya, the majority of whom are of “Al-Sultan Murad” Division, by offering material incentives, exploiting their difficult living situation and poverty.

 

On the other hand, SOHR activists have documented the killing of eight new Turkish-backed mercenaries in the past few days on several frontlines in Libya, bringing the total death toll of Turkish-backed Syrian proxies  killed in military operations in Libya to 287.

 

The fatalities are of the factions “al-Mu’tasim Division, Sultan Murad, Suqur Al-Shamal Brigade, Al-Hamzat and Suleiman Shah”. According to very reliable SOHR sources, the fatalities were killed in clashes on frontlines of Salah Al-Din in the south of Tripoli, Al-Ramlah near Tripoli Airport, Al-Hadabah Project area, Misrata and other areas in Libya.

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