المرصد السوري لحقوق الانسان
The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights

Back-and-forth transfer operations | 140 Turkish-backed mercenaries return from Libya to Syria, while 200 others leave Syria to Libya

Reliable SOHR sources have confirmed that nearly 140 Syrian fighters of Turkish-backed factions have returned from Libya to Syria in the past few days. The sources have also confirmed that the return of this batch has not been a part of a plan to evacuate Turkish-backed mercenaries from Libya, as nearly 200 other mercenaries have been sent to Libya instead. It is worth noting that all the fighters of the batch transferred recently to Libya are of the factions of al-Amshat, Sultan Murad and al-Hamza Division. Accordingly, the withdrawal of Turkish-backed mercenaries form Libya has been still suspended, despite all international appeals and Libyan-Libyan understandings.

 

On June 7, Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported the return of a group of Turkish-backed Syrian mercenaries from Libya to Syria. In the previous 48 hours, nearly 95 fighters affiliated to the factions of “al-Hamzah Division, al-Majd Brigade, Sultan Murad, al-Muatasem Division.”

 

SOHR sources added that the return of those fighters was a part of back-and-forth transfer operations, as another group of 100 fighters from the same factions were dispatched by the Turkish government to Libya.

 

On the other hand, SOHR sources reported that al-Hamzah Division arrested several fighters who returned back with the latest patch after committing severe violations in Libya.

 

The back-and-forth transfer operations coincided with the international continuous demands to withdraw mercenaries from Libya. However, such demands met with Turkish government’s indifference, despite the considerable coverage by media, especially by SOHR.

 

This was the first time for the return of a large number of fighters since May 25, as the return process was limited only to individual returns under fraud medical reports.

 

On May 27, SOHR reported that foreign mercenaries were present in the Libyan territory, despite of the Libyan-Libyan understandings, the ongoing international calls and the media coverage, especially by Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Moreover, the return of Turkish-backed Syrian mercenaries was completely suspended, except for some individual returns by some mercenaries who provided falsified medical reports and bribed the leaders of Turkish-backed factions, amid widespread discontent among the Turkish-backed “mercenaries” in Libya over the suspension of their return and the unpaid financial dues in return for the services they provided for the Turkish government.

 

On the other hand, the Syrian mercenaries who were recruited by the Russian” Wagner” company for protecting and serving the Russian interests in Libya, haven’t retuned back.

 

On April 28, SOHR activists reported that the return of Syrian mercenaries from Libya is still suspended, whether Turkish-backed “mercenaries”, or those who were recruited by the Russian “Wagner” company and sent to Libya.

 

SOHR sources said that only a small number of mercenaries returned to Syria, after they provided medical reports and falsified some of them by bribing the leaders of Turkish-backed factions, amid widespread discontent among the Turkish-backed “mercenaries” in Libya, as their return to Syria still suspended since March 25, about five weeks ago since the return of last batch of fighters, after a complete suspension of the return of these mercenaries since mid-November.

 

Amid-April, SOHR sources said that fighters of Turkish-backed factions, who are in Libya, were paying bribes to doctors in order to falsify medical reports enabling them to return to Syria.

 

On March 8, SOHR reported the Turkish government sending patch of 380 mercenaries to Libya.

 

On the other hand, SOHR affirmed return of the Russian-backed Syrian mercenaries who had been recruited by the Russian “Wagner” company and sent to Libya, has been also completely suspended. What has been happening in exchange operations, as a Syrian patch retuned to Syrian while another patch goes to Libya. The mercenaries’ task was to protect and guard the oil fields in Libya.

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