Turkey has sent a new batch of Syrian mercenaries to Libya where its military maintains a fairly large presence, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported on April 8.
According to the London-based monitoring group, the new batch consisted of 380 militants. They were sent to Libya via Turkey’s territory.
“First, the group was moved to Turkey and from there they were sent to Libya,” the SOHR said in its report.
In the last few months, a number of reports talked about a near Turkish withdrawal from Libya. One report in particular revealed that the US and Turkey had reached an initial agreement on the matter. Nevertheless, the withdrawal is yet to begin.
The SOHR said that Syrian militants in Libya, estimated to be around 6,000, are desperate to return to their country. The militants’ living conditions there are reportedly very harsh.
In Libya, Turkish-backed Syrian militants fought for the now-dissolved Government of National According against the Libyan National Army. Hundreds were killed.
Turkey’s moves in Libya will likely provoke Egypt. A recent report by al-Arabiya revealed that Egypt had suspended talks to normalize relations with Turkey. Cairo asked Ankara to fulfill a list of demands, including a full military withdrawal from Libya.
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