Ankara-backed Syrian mercenaries in Libya | 400 Syrian fighters transferred to Turkey, while return of mercenaries from Libya is still suspended
The return of the Turkish-backed Syrian “mercenaries” from Libya is still suspended, as the batch that left Libyan territory on March 25 did not return to Syria to date, while the return of mercenaries from Libya is supposed to take place in batches, the Turkish side, however, is still maneuvering regarding the issue of the mercenaries’ return, amid growing discontent among the Syrian fighters in Libya, especially since their salaries are not paid and their strong desire to return.
However, it seems the Turkish side has a different opinion as the final decision is made by the Turks, while the Syrian fighters are just pawns moved by the Turkish intelligence.
Moreover, a group of about 380 fighters of Turkish-backed Syrian factions arrived in Turkish territory in the last few days. No confirmed information has been reported to date as to whether the group was transferred to Libya from Turkey or to another region or remained in Turkey.
On the other hand, the Syrian Observatory confirms that the return of Russian-backed Syrian mercenaries, who have been recruited by the Russian company “Wagner” and sent to Libya, is still suspended, with back-and-forth transfer operations of mercenaries from and to Syria. The task of these mercenaries is to protect Libya’s oil-rich regions.
The destination of the batch comprising dozens of Turkish-backed Syrian mercenaries, which left Libyan territory on March 25, is still unknown.
It is not yet known whether the batch returned to Turkey, went to Europe or was transferred by the Turkish government elsewhere, but it certainly has not entered Syrian territory yet. The return of Syrian mercenaries from Libya has been suspended since March 21, amid growing discontent among the Syrian fighters in Libya, in light of procrastination and maneuvering by the Turkish government regarding their return to Syria.
Four days ago, SOHR sources monitored growing discontent among the Syrian mercenaries in Libyan, as their return to Syria was suspended since Sunday, March 21, after a batch of 120 fighters of the “Sultan Murad” faction returned to Syria from Libya.
However, there is concern that the return of a number of these mercenaries is only a Turkish maneuver on media, as there are still more than 6,630 mercenaries in Libya.
According to Syrian Observatory sources from within the mercenaries, there are Turkish intentions to keep groups of Turkish-backed Syrian fighters in Libya to protect Turkish bases, while many of these mercenaries do not want to return to Syria but want to go to Europe via Italy.
On March 21, very reliable sources told SOHR that a new batch of some 120 Syrian fighters, including mercenaries of “Sultan Murad” faction, returned from Libya to Syria in the past few hours. This development coincides with the dire conditions of the Turkish-backed mercenaries in Libya, as SOHR sources confirmed that the mercenaries have not received their monthly salaries and payments, amid their anger and desire to return to Syria immediately.
On the other hand, SOHR sources in Afrin area confirmed that Abu Amsha, the leader of Sultan Suleiman Shah faction, is preparing a batch of the faction’s fighters in order to send them to Turkey. It is not known yet these fighters’ following destination, but it is very likely that they will be sent to Libya. SOHR sources say that Abu Amsha has informed these fighters that they would be given a monthly salary of 500 USD each, and the batch is expected to leave to Syria in hours.
On Friday, reliable SOHR sources reported that the Turkish-backed Syrian fighters in Libya were informed to pack up and prepare themselves to return to Syria, at orders by the Turkish government, which had sent the mercenaries to serve Turkey’s narrow interests in Libya. This development came in light of Erdogan’s new political stance towards the Arabs through attempts to amend its diplomatic and political relations with Egypt.