Wednesday 15 January 2020
Books – Mohamed Safwat:
The British newspaper, “The Guardian”, revealed in a report today, Wednesday, the numbers of Syrian mercenaries in Libya and their salaries determined by Ankara for them to persuade them to fight in the Libyan territories.
The British newspaper spoke with Syrian sources who confirmed that about two thousand Syrian fighters had traveled through Turkey to Libya, and some of them had already arrived, while Ankara continues to send more Syrians to fight with it on Libyan soil.
The sources believe that what is happening is an unprecedented development that threatens to further complicate the intractable civil war in Libya.
The newspaper says, that Ankara agreed to send Syrian mercenaries to Libya after the Turkish parliament agreed to help Fayez al-Sarraj and his government in Tripoli, to confront the Libyan army led by Field Marshal Khalifa Hifter.
Turkey has supported armed opposition groups in Syria, against the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and is currently using its proxies in the region to launch military operations against the Kurds in northern Syria, confusing gross human rights violations in accordance with domestic and international oversight bodies in Syria.
The researcher Claudia Jazzini, an analyst for Libyan affairs at the International Crisis Group, believes that the situation in Libya differs from Syria, pointing out that the anti-Turkish feelings of Libyan grass may turn into a real enmity benefiting the Libyan army.
2000 Syrian fighters crossed into Turkey
The British newspaper revealed that about 300 fighters from the so-called pro-Ankara Syrian National Army crossed the border crossing Hur Kellys last December 24th, then another batch of 350 fighters left on the 29th of the same month, and were transferred to Tripoli where they were sent to confrontation sites with Libyan army east of the capital.
The “Guardian” indicated that there are approximately 1,350 other fighters who crossed into Turkey from the same border crossing on January 5, and some of them were deployed to combat sites in Libya after receiving training in the camps of southern Turkey.
One of the Syrian sources says to the newspaper, without revealing his identity, that the numbers are much greater than the estimates we hear in the media and regulatory agencies, pointing out that some Syrians who were sent to Libya are scheduled to join a group called “Omar Al-Mukhtar” who enjoyed great popularity during The Arab Spring wave in 2011.
2000 dollars and Turkish citizenship for the fight
The British newspaper says, that the Syrian mercenaries signed direct contracts with the government of Al-Wefaq headed by Fayez al-Sarraj in Libya, for a period of 6 months for 2000 dollars per month, explaining that the Syrian fighters did not sign contracts with Turkey but they promised to obtain Turkish citizenship and the necessary health care by Turkey for the victims of the battles And their families.
The newspaper added that 4 Syrians were killed in Libya during the recent battles, while the armed groups that follow the dead claimed that they were killed on the front lines in a confrontation with the Kurds in northeastern Syria.
She pointed out that there are videos spread on social media platforms, showing fighters in Tripoli speaking in Syrian dialects, where one of them said: “The Free Syrian Army is in Libya to defend Islam.”
For its part, Ankara and Tripoli have repeatedly denied the presence of Syrian fighters in Libya, and the newspaper commented: “We realize that the Syrian fighters in the country have since been prevented from publishing any evidence of their whereabouts on social media.”
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced last week, in his speech, that he would send 35 Turkish soldiers to Tripoli in an advisory capacity only, without participating in the fighting, contrary to what Erdogan set out in northeastern Syria last October.
The British newspaper believes that the interference in Libya has little support from the Turkish people.