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Iran Press TV

Nearly 10,000 Syria militants recruited by Turkey so far to fight in Libya; over 220 killed in action: SOHR

Iran Press TV

Saturday, 25 April 2020 4:18 PM

Turkey has recruited nearly 10,000 allied Takfiri militants to fight in Libya and has sent more than half of them from Syria to the North African country, a war monitor says.

The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, citing local sources, reported on Saturday that approximately 7,400 Turkish-backed militants, some of whom non-Syrian nationals, have arrived in Libya so far, and another 2,500 are currently receiving military training in Turkey to be sent there later.

The sources added that the number of militants who supported the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) and were killed in clashes with Libyan forces loyal to eastern-based commander Khalifa Haftar has now reached 223.

The militants killed were from the so-called and extremist Mu'tasim Division, the Sultan Murad Division, northern Falcons Brigade, the Hamza Division and Sultan Suleyman Shah Brigade.

The Observatory went on to say that new batches of allied Takfiri militants are about to be sent from Syria to Libya, as the so-called Free Syrian Army (FSA) is recruiting new members under orders from the Turkish intelligence service.

However, some militant groups have refused to register their fighters in the lists prepared by the FSA, and have had their funds suspended as a result.

The sources highlighted that the measure together with a series of other restrictions are meant to compel those groups to capitulate and join the war in Libya.

Two seats of power have emerged in Libya since 2011, when a popular uprising and a NATO intervention led to the ouster of long-time dictator Muammar Gaddafi and his execution by unruly fighters.

Haftar in eastern Libya is supported by Egypt and the United Arab Emirates; whilst the GNA in Tripoli enjoys military backing from Turkey.

A bill passed by the Turkish parliament earlier this year allows the Ankara government to deploy forces to Libya to intervene in the civil war in the North African country.

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