المرصد السوري لحقوق الانسان
The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights

To improve their living conditions | Turkish-backed mercenaries use their revenues from fighting in Libya and Azerbaijan to open small projects

After returning from battles in Libya and Azerbaijan, many Syrian mercenaries started opening private projects to overcome the difficulties of life in Syria, including those who retired from military life with these factions and started their own businesses.

A young man known as his initial as (Kh.M.), a displaced from Damascus countryside who currently lives in the city of Afrin in the north-western of Aleppo countryside, told SOHR that he was one of these fighters recruited by Turkey and sent to fight in Libya. He opened a public swimming pool with a friend with an estimated contribution of $10,000 he received for fighting in Libya, where he remained for six months with the “al-Hamza Division.”

The young man said that he has a family of six, and since their displacement he has been working in various professions for a small wage. After his living conditions deteriorated, he joined the “National Army” and then went to fight in Libya.

He added that he put his life at risk when deciding to go to Libya, but the difficulties of life forced him to do so. The young man confirms that his living conditions began to improve after the opening of the swimming pool, and he holds hope that work will be better next summer so that he can earn a decent income for his family.

The Syrian Observatory has monitored many other similar cases of young fighters in the Turkish-backed factions, who opened their own businesses after returning from Libya and Azerbaijan and receiving their salaries.

A 30-year-old young man known by his initial as (A.A.) displaced from the western Hama countryside, who lives in northern Aleppo countryside, stayed in Libya for nearly six months and received $10,000 for his military services. The young man opened a shop for sales and maintenance of phones.

He told SOHR that his living condition was bad before he went to Libya, as working with the factions did not enable him to find another job, and secure a fixed source of income. He has an experience in selling mobile phones, and sometimes buys and sells some devices in his spare time, but he did not make a good income.

He confirmed to SOHR that his poor living conditions forced him to participate in the Libyan war, regardless of who wins the war, and like the thousands of young people who have been exploited by Turkey along with the leaders of the factions, as they were in need of work to support their families.

He added that he was poorly paid with a salary of less than $70 per month, as he had previously worked with the “Sultan Suleiman Shah” faction, which was not enough to meet his needs in light of the high prices and lack of jobs, which forced him to go to fight in Libya.

A 36-year-old man known by his initial as (R.M.), a former fighter of “Al-Sham Corps” of the “National Army”, told SOHR that he bought a car after receiving $7,500 in return for fighting in Libya for nearly five months.

The young man hails from the southern Aleppo countryside area, and was displaced with his family to the town of Kafr Takharim, north-west of Idlib. He said that he left the “Al-Sham Corps” faction and started to use his own car to provide transportation services to different places in northern Syria, where he gets daily several customers, so that he can afford the expenses of his family of four.

He added that he was a teacher of the Arabic language before joining the “Al-Sham Corps” faction, but after his displacement he was unable to get a job, and he had no choice but joining the opposition factions.

(R.M.) concluded his testimony saying that he knew many of those who joined the war in Libya, and left their factions after getting paid for their fighting, and had started their own businesses to improve their living conditions.

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