Turkey’s involvement in Libya | Mercenaries return to Syria suspended, despite Libyan-Libyan agreement
Over 7,000 Syrian mercenaries are still in Libya
As Libya is experiencing a new political progress following the Libyan-Libyan agreement, the case of Turkish-backed mercenaries in Libya comes to the fore once again. Reliable sources have informed the Syrian Observatory that the return of Turkish-backed Syrian mercenaries has been suspended for over 20 days, since the latest batch arrived in Syria in mid-November. On the contrary, very reliable SOHR sources talk about Turkey’s intention to send a new batch of Syrian factions’ fighters to Libya in the next few days.
It is worth noting that the number of recruits who arrived in Libya approximated 18,000 Syrian mercenaries, including 350 children under the age of 18, of whom 10,750 returned to Syria after completing the duration of their contracts and receiving their financial dues. While the number of jihadists who were transported from Syria to Libya reached 10,000, of whom there were 2,500 Tunisians.
It is also worth noting that the number of fatalities among the Turkish-backed Syrian factions in Libya reached 496.
On Thursday, the Syrian Observatory obtained new details on the case of Turkish-backed Syrian mercenaries in Azerbaijan from several fighters who recently returned from Nagorno-Karabakh to Syria. According to SOHR sources, the fighters who had returned to Syria received varying payments, as some were given 3,500 USD and 600 TL, another group was given 1,000 USD and 1,000 TL each, while some others were given two payments of an estimated 5,000 TL. Furthermore, all the fighters confirmed that there were “unpaid sums of money” that were supposed to be given to these fighters in the next few days.
On the other hand, SOHR sources said that the number of Syrian mercenaries killed in Azerbaijan exceeded the number of those killed in Libya, as the death toll of the Turkish-backed Syrian mercenaries in Azerbaijan has reached 541. In Libya, however, the death toll is 468 fighters.
Observatory sources also confirmed that further bodies of Syrian fighters killed in Nagorno-Karabakh battles arrived in Syria with the recent batches of returnees, bringing the number of fighters whose bodies were brought to Syria to 340.
Accordingly, nearly 825 fighters of the Turkish-backed factions are still in Azerbaijan, out of 2,580 fighters transported earlier by Turkish government. However, it is not known yet if they will return to Syrian soon or Turkey will maintained them in Azerbaijan in the present. Moreover, there are probably more fatalities among the fighters, who are still in Azerbaijan, whose death has not been confirmed or documented yet by SOHR sources.