After bribing doctors in Libya | New batch of Turkish-backed mercenaries returns to Syria under pretext of deteriorating health
Reliable sources have told the Syrian Observatory that a new batch of the Turkish-backed Syrian mercenaries have returned from Libya to Syria in the past few days. This batch is the first one to return from Libya to Syria in two months, exactly since mid-November 2020.
It is worth noting that the return of this batch, which comprised 40 fighters, was not normal, especially with the ongoing suspension of return of mercenaries from Libya to Syria. According to SOHR sources, these fighters had paid bribes of an estimated 500 USD each to doctors in Libya in return for writing reports stating that their health conditions were poor and that they had to return to Syria. The mercenaries later provided these reports to their commanders in order to permit their return to Syria, before they were transported to Turkey then to Syria.
SOHR sources have confirmed that the mercenaries recently returned have got only a quarter of allocated monthly salaries, as each fighter was given only 500 USD every month instead of 2000 USD. Moreover, these fighters have not been paid any salaries for more than five months.
A few days ago, SOHR sources reported that discontent was growing as Turkish-backed factions’ leaders continued defrauding their members, by cutting a large part of the members’ monthly salaries, as well as delaying payments.
According to Syrian Observatory sources, the fraud issue included all fighters, but the Turkman fighters were relatively treated better than non-Turkman fighters by Turkmen commanders, for example, $500 was deducted from the Turkmen fighter’s monthly salary, while double the amount was deducted from the non-Turkmen fighters.
It is worth noting that the financial fraud spread in most factions, but mainly in “al-Hamza Division, Suleiman Shah, Al-Jabha Al-Shamiya, Al-Mu’tassim Brigade, Samarkand Brigade, Northern Brigade and Jaysh al-Islam.”
On the other hand, no information were reported about the mercenaries’ fate in Libya, where a group of mercenaries was supposed to return to Syria in the previous day. However, no one returned despite the end of their actual role in the light of the Libyan-Libyan consensus.
Earlier this year, SOHR sources reported that Turkish-backed mercenaries sent earlier from Syria to Libya expressed their anger over their deducted and delayed payments. According to SOHR sources, the commanders of Turkish-backed factions, including “Al-Hamza Division”, “Suleiman Shah”, “Al-Jabha Al-Shamiyyah” and “Al-Mu’tasem Brigade”, deliberately delayed payment of the mercenaries’ salaries. Furthermore, these commanders deducted 100 to 300 USD of the monthly salary of each fighter.
On the other hand, mercenaries demanded the Turks give them their money directly, instead of delivering salaries to their commanders. It is worth noting that one of the prominent reasons behind delaying the Turkish-backed fighter’s salaries was the fact that the commanders speculated in the Stock Exchange with this money.
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.