300 militants move from Syria to Libya: SOHR



Sun, 29 Dec 2019 - 12:35 GMT


Sun, 29 Dec 2019 - 12:35 GMT

A member of the Libyan internationally recognised government forces fires during a fight with Eastern forces in Ain Zara, Tripoli, Libya April 25, 2019. REUTERS/Hani Amara

A member of the Libyan internationally recognised government forces fires during a fight with Eastern forces in Ain Zara, Tripoli, Libya April 25, 2019. REUTERS/Hani Amara

CAIRO - 29 December 2019: The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported on Sunday that 300 militants affiliated to Turkey have been relocated to the Libyan capital from Syria and that 900-1,000 militants moved to Turkish camps to receive training.

Sources told the observatory that each militant is offered $2,000 - 2,500 for a 3-6-month contract to fight alongside Tripoli militias, and that the longer the duration gets, the higher the salary becomes. The human rights organization added on its Arabic website that a large number of militants who moved to Libya belong to Hazm terrorist group, which was disbanded a few years ago.

The observatory acquired voice recordings of a militant working for Turkey speaking to a number of other militants, whereas he was asking them if they wanted to leave Efrein to Tripoli the following day. “We will move at 10 a.m. from Efrein...We aren’t dollar slaves but our conditions and debts mandate that we do that,” the militant said.

“If we compare the images that appear on Google Maps, we will find those militants gathering in Salah El-Din district, which is considered the southern entrance to the Libyan capital. The district is mostly a top-notch area as some castles appear. The footage we acquired indicates that those elements are assembling in Al-Takbaly camp, which used to belong to the Libyan Army before falling at the hands of Turkey-affiliated militants. Google Maps also show that many constructions have been taking place in the camp for months, which means that Turkey has been preparing it to receive further elements of the factions it backs,” the sources revealed.

Libya’s Government of National Accord (GNA) requested on Thursday Turkish military intervention providing air, ground, and sea support to its militias in Tripoli against the attempts of the Libyan National Army (LNA) to capture the capital.

Turkish President Recep Tayip Erdogan stated on Thursday that troops will be sent to Libya upon the request of the interim government in Tripoli and that the parliament is expected to pass the decree on January 8.

On Thursday, the Turkish gazette published the endorsement of the MoU on military and security cooperation signed by Turkey and the Government of National Accord (GNA) on November 27 announcing its enactment. On December 21, the Turkish parliament’s plenary session approved the MoU’s endorsement.

On Wednesday, Erdogan visited Tunisia to discuss cooperation over endeavors to reach a ceasefire in Libya. On Thursday, GNA’s Ministry of Interior Fathy Bash Agha stated in a press conference that Tunisia is part of an alliance encompassing GNA and Turkey, which was negated by Spokeswoman of the Tunisian Presidency Rashida al-Nayfar.

Agha also stated on Thursday that the GNA may request Turkish military support if the war near Tripoli continues as the LNA has been attempting to enter Tripoli since April.

The GNA has not reached an agreement with LNA and is protected by militias. Since April, the LNA has been attempting to enter Tripoli and captured Mitiga airport for days. The LNA currently controls the majority of Libya’s territories, while GNA’s militias occupy the northwestern corner of the country sharing borders with Tunisia. Some relatively small districts in the south are held by tribal militias. The LNA is backed by the Libyan House of Representatives and the government based in Tobruk, eastern the country.

Chief of Staff of the Libyan Naval Force Faraj al-Mahdawi said on December 22 that the navy is on high alert to confront any possible attack by Turkish forces on Libya. "The army is also ready for action and will block any backup for the militias and prevent access of Turkish forces into the Libyan lands," Mahdawi told Al-Arabiya.



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