More Turkish-backed Syrian militants are returning from Libya, the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported on July 5.
At least 5,250 militants out of 15,300 originally deployed in Libya have returned, thus far. The militants were fighting for the Government of National Accord (GNA), which is backed by Ankara.
“Turkey continues to bring more elements of its factions’ mercenaries to its camps and train them,” the SOHR noted in its report, highlighting Turkey’s ongoing efforts to send even more militants to Libya.
The monitoring group revealed that 300 Syrian child soldiers are still fighting in Libya. All of them are aged between 14 and 18. Most of these minors were recruited by the Turkish-backed al-Sultan Murad Division.
Syrian militants sustained heavy losses while fighting in Libya. According to the SOHR, at least 459 militants, including 30 minors, were killed by the Libyan National Army.
The deployment of thousands of Syrian militants together with an increase of Turkish weapon supplies boosted the offensive capabilities of GNA forces. Nevertheless, this caused a serious damage to the image of the GNA among a large part of the Libyan population, which now considers it a “puppet government” of Turkey.