Four months after suspending their return | Fighters of Turkish-backed mercenaries in Libya confirm that they received no order to prepare for return
The issue of “mercenaries” inside Libyan territory is still fully suspended, as the return of the Turkish-backed Syrian mercenaries is still completely suspended. By communicating with some of these mercenaries in Libya, they have said that they have not yet been asked to prepare for their return, in a clear reference to the mercenaries issue that has been suspended since mid-November last year, despite the Libyan-Libyan consensus and all international demands for the exit of foreign forces from Libya, amid ongoing media blackout regarding the mercenaries’ issue.
On March 9, SOHR sources said that in light of the Libyan-Libyan discussions to grant confidence to the new Government of National Unity, the mercenaries who are still maintained in Libya hinder stability in the country. It is worth noting that 6,750 Syrian fighters of Turkish-backed factions are still in Libya, and the operations which have taken place since November were only change of shifts, as some batches has returned to Syria while other batches have been sent to Libya. The presence of foreign mercenaries in Libya continues despite all international demands and the Libyan-Libyan agreement and the end of the deadline given to foreign mercenaries to leave Libya. According to the Libyan-Libyan agreement, foreign fighters (mercenaries) were supposed to withdraw from Libya within three months after the ceasefire came into force on October 23, 2020.
On the other hand, nearly 2,000 other Syrian mercenaries recruited by the Russian company of “Wagner” and sent to Libya for guarding affiliated facilities are still there, as Russia offers relatively high salaries, exploiting the dire living conditions in Syria.
According to SOHR statistics, 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 worth noting that the number of fatalities among the Turkish-backed Syrian factions in Libya reached 496.