Turkey has been deploying Syrian militants and jihadists of different nationalities in Libya to support the Government of National Accord (GNA), the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) revealed in a report on August 1.
According to the London-based monitoring group, a new batch of Syrian militants and jihadist arrived in Libya in the last few days.
The SOHR estimates that Turkey has deployed more than 17,000 Syrian militants, including 350 children, in Libya so far. At least 6,000 of them returned to Syria in the recent few months after receiving the full payment.
“Turkey continues to bring more factions’ fighters, mercenaries, to its camps and train them,” the SOHR’s report reads.
Besides deploying its Syrian proxies, Turkey also transported around 10,000 Jihadists of different nationalities to fight for the GNA in Libya. At least 2,500 of them are Tunisian.
Turkey began sending Syrian militants and jihadists to Libya last year. This step boosted the offensive capabilities of the GNA and allowed its forces to repel the Libyan National Army attack on the capital, Tripoli.
These achievements came at a high cost for Syrian militants. According to the SOHR, 481 Syrians were killed in Libya. 34 of them were under the age of 18.
Turkey appears to be determined to increase its military presence in Libya. Recent reports revealed that Ankara is planning to establish permanent bases for its forces in the Arab country.