The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights

Suspends the return of fighters and sends more from Syria | Turkish government insists on maintaining mercenaries in Libya

SOHR sources have confirmed that the return of mercenaries of Turkish-backed Syrian factions from Libya is still suspended. Moreover, a new batch of some 380 mercenaries were sent to Libya in the past few hours. According to reliable SOHR sources, the group was transported to Turkey first, then it was sent to Libya. This development coincides with the growing discontent and anger among the mercenaries in who are still maintained in Libya, especially with their dire conditions.


On April 3, SOHR sources reported that the return of the Turkish-backed Syrian “mercenaries” from Libya was suspended, as the batch that left Libyan territory on March 25 did not return to Syria to date, while mercenaries were supposed to return from Libya in batches. The Turkish side, however, was maneuvering regarding the issue of the mercenaries’ return, amid growing discontent among the Syrian fighters in Libya, especially since their salaries are not paid, along with their strong desire to return to Syria.


However, it seems that the Turkish side had a different opinion as the final decision was made by the Turks, while the Syrian fighters were 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 past few days. No confirmed information was reported to date on the next destination of the group and whether it would be transferred to Libya from Turkey, another region or maintained in Turkey.


On the other hand, the Syrian Observatory confirmed that the return of Russian-backed Syrian mercenaries, who had been recruited by the Russian company “Wagner” and sent to Libya, was also suspended, with back-and-forth transfer operations of mercenaries from and to Syria. The task of these mercenaries was to protect Libya’s oil-rich regions.


While on March 29, SOHR sources reported that the destination of the batch comprising dozens of Turkish-backed Syrian mercenaries, which left Libyan territory on March 25, remained 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.