Syrian mercenaries in Libya | Return of fighters suspended for weeks, amid media blackout and growing discontent
Despite the Libyan-Libyan agreement and all international calls and demands, media blackout continues regarding the file of the Syrian mercenaries in Libya, as the return of the fighters to Syria have been totally suspended for weeks. The suspension of the return of new batches of fighters to their homeland has sparked a state of discontent among these mercenaries recruited by the Turkish Intelligence, as they want to leave Libya as soon as possible and head to Europe or even return to Syria. Moreover, all of these mercenaries are looking forward to getting their salaries, after guarding and serving the Turkish narrow interests in Libya, especially with the delay and deduction of the fighters’ payments by the commanders of Turkish-backed factions.
Similarly, the return of Syrian mercenaries recruited by the Russian company of “Wagner” has been also suspended, amid ongoing media blackout.
On April 28, SOHR sources reported that the return of Syrian mercenaries from Libya was suspended, both groups of mercenaries recruited by Turkish Intelligence or by the Russian “Wagner” company.
SOHR sources said that only a small number of mercenaries managed to return to Syria, after they provided medical reports some of which they falsified by bribing the leaders of Turkish-backed factions. Meanwhile, widespread discontent prevailed among the Turkish-backed “mercenaries” in Libya, as their return to Syria still suspended since March 25, the date of the return of latest batch of fighters, after a complete suspension of the return of these mercenaries since mid-November.
While in mid April, reliable SOHR sources said that fighters of Turkish-backed factions in Libya paid bribes to doctors in order to falsify medical reports enabling them to return to Syria.
On April 8, Turkish government sent a new batch of 380 Syrian mercenaries to Libya.
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 suspended, with back-and-forth transfer operations of mercenaries from and to Syria. It is worth noting that the task of these mercenaries was to protect Libya’s oil-rich regions.
It is worth noting that there are still more than 6,630 mercenaries in Libya, amid 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, as they desire to go to Europe via Italy.
SOHR sources in Afrin area had confirmed that Abu Amsha, the leader of Sultan Suleiman Shah faction, prepared a batch of the faction’s fighters and sent them to Turkey, while these fighters would be given a monthly salary of 500 USD each.
On March 19, 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.