Russia was preparing to send 1,000 Syrian fighters to Libya to reinforce the Libyan National Army (LNA), the Anadolu Agency reported on September 9, citing local source.
The Turkish-state run news agency claimed that Russia had recruited the Syrian fighters from the northeastern city of al-Qamishli, which is located on the border with Turkey. The city is jointly controlled by government forces and the Syrian Democratic Forces.
“They [the fighters] are between the ages of 20 and 45 and will each receive $2,000 per month to be a part of Haftar’s forces for five months,” the Anadolu Agency quoted the sources as saying.
The Anadolu Agency claimed that Russia had so far deployed 5,000 Syrian private military contractors in Libya. The same number was mentioned in a recent report by the Pentagon’s Inspector General.
In the last few months, a series of reports by Syrian pro-opposition sources and Turkish outlets have accused Russia of deploying Syrian pro-government fighters in Libya to support the LNA. So far, there has been no evidence to back these claims.
On the other hand, there is sufficient evidence on the deployment of thousands of Syrian militants by Turkey in Libya. The numbers are reportedly between 5,000 and 18,000.
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