Turkey had deployed 800 Syrian militates in Libya since the recent announcement of a ceasefire in the country by the Government of National Accord (GNA), the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported on September 3.
The SOHR alleged that around 18,000 Syrian militants had been deployed in Libya by Turkey, so far. More are reportedly receiving training in Turkish camps.
A new report by the Pentagon’s Inspector General contradicted the numbers provided by the SOHR, saying that Turkey deployed no more than 5,000 Syrian militants in Libya.
The SOHR’s director, Rami Abdulrahman, questioned the numbers in the Pentagon’s report during an interview with Sky News Arabia. Abdulrahman said jihadists were not included in the number of the U.S. Department of Defense.
“The Pentagon’s report concealed the case of sending around 10,000 jihadists of non-Syrian nationalities, among them about 2,500 holders of Tunisian nationality, and most of them were in ISIS and al-Qaeda,” Abdulrahman.
More than 6,000 Turkish-backed Syrian militants who had fighten for the GNA in Libya had returned to their country over the last few months, according to the SOHR.
The deployment of Syrian militants boosted the offensive capabilities of GNA forces, allowing them to secure areas in western Libya. Turkey is now working to assert its presence in the oil-rich country with the help of those militants.
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