19 Turkish-backed Syrian militants were killed while they were fighting on the side of the Government of National Accord (GNA) in Libya, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) revealed on January 16.
In the report, the London-based monitoring group said that 1,750 Syrian “mercenaries” have been deployed by Turkey in Libya, so far. 1,500 others are receiving training in Turkey ahead of their deployment.
“The recruitment process continues, significantly, whether in Afrin or the Euphrates Shield areas [in the northern Aleppo countryside],” the group’s report reads.
According to the SOHR, all 19 casualties were fighting in the ranks of the Mu’tasim Division, the Sultan Murad Division, The Northern Hawks Brigade and the Hamza Division. The four groups are key members of the Turkish-backed Syrian National Army (SNA).
A recent report by the Guardian revealed that each Syrian militant deployed in Libya is receiving a monthly salary of $2,000, as well as a promise to be granted a Turkish citizenship.
Turkey began deploying its Syrian proxies in Libya last December with the aim of supporting the GNA. They participate in the GNA effort to fend off a large-scale attack by the Libyan National Army (LNA) on Tripoli. This step is yet to pay off, as the LNA is still making gains in northern Libya.