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Stealing Out of Turkey’s Playbook? Russia Accused Of Sending Syrians to Fight in Libya

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Stealing Out of Turkey's Playbook? Russia Accused Of Sending Syrians to Fight in Libya

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In recent days, Turkey and its influence network in Turkish, Arabic, Russian and English have been attempting to push a brand-new narrative: accusing Russia of hiring Syrians and sending them to Libya.

It is essentially accusing Russia of doing exactly what Turkey has been proven to do. Ankara has been recruiting militants from the groups it supports in the Idlib province in Syria, and sending them to fight on behalf of the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) in Libya.

At least, the alleged Russian actions are related to hiring Syrians, who aren’t members of militant or terrorist groups.

Thus, according to some outlets, the Russian command in Syria is suspected of creating a special militia from local residents for its subsequent participation in the Libyan armed conflict.

According to data from unknown sources, recruitment can be carried out not only in the coastal areas of the Syrian Arab Republic, but also in the province of Damascus.

The first batch of recruits has already gone to the North African country, according to Arab media. However, there are no confirmations yet.

Since the beginning of 2020, the Russian side has allegedly recruited dozens of Syrians to be sent to Libya, Arabic-language media reported.

According to the reports, recruits are being trained to participate in the battles on the side of the Libyan National Army (LNA), under the command of Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, who is opposed to the GNA.

The GNA, on its part is supported by Turkey, and the militants it sends there from Syria.

The task of recruiting people for irregular formations, which, according to the idea, will be sent to the north of Africa, lies with the municipal authorities and – partly – with the Syrian security forces.

Representatives of the Russian command, according to this information, initially asked to assemble a group of 50 young people, promising each a salary of $800 per month.

Which means that according to the propaganda, Russia pays smaller wages than Turkey. Turkey allegedly pays $2,000 to militants, meaning that the “mean Russians” don’t even pay a fair salary.

And participation on the side of the LNA is limited to three months, instead of 6 in the case of Turkey.

It is alleged that fighters of irregular formations were given cards called the “card of friends of Russia”, which should protect the owner from problems with security agencies and guarantee him legal immunity.

Arab media write that the first batch of recruits, consisting of 25 people, has already left Douma, having flown from the international airport in Damascus to Benghazi, in Libya.

It is believed that Cham Wings airline, which is subject to US sanctions since 2014, takes part in the transportation.

Russia, in addition, is credited with plans to send to Libya the Desert Hawks brigade  that fought on the side of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Their salary, according to various estimates, should reach $1,000. And they still are allegedly paid much less than militants hired by Turkey.

Furthermore, the propaganda is so high-quality that they’ve not researched that the Desert Hawks Brigade was disbanded years ago.

Turkey’s appears to be hard at work to justify its actions, both in Libya and in Syria as a response to aggression, rather than its own bid to spread its influence.

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