Dozens of Turkish-backed Syrian mercenaries had returned from Libya for the first time in ten weeks, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported on June 7.
“Nearly 95 fighters of the al-Hamzah Division, al-Majd Brigade, Sultan Murad Division, al-Muetasim Division returned in the last 48 hours,” the London-based monitoring group said in a report.
A Source informed on the matter told the SOHR that the return of the mercenaries did not represent the beginning of a full withdrawal from Libya. According to the source, Turkey is just rotating the mercenaries deployed there. Around 100 militants were sent to Libya very recently.
Turkey deployed thousands of Syrian militants in Libya between 2019 and 2020 in order to support its allies in the now-defunct Government of National Accord. More than 6,000 mercenaries are still in the war-torn country.
Last month, the SOHR revealed that Turkish-backed Syrian mercenaries in Libya were faking illness in order to return to their country.
Despite the recent progress in the intra-Libyan political process, Turkey is yet to withdraw its troops and proxies from the country. Efforts made by both the US and Egypt to resolve this issue are yet to bear any fruit. Ankara appears to be determined to stay in Libya for the long term.
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