Turkey is planning to deploy some of its Syrian proxies in Libya to support the pro-Turkish Government of National Accord (GNA), which is facing an attack by the Libyan National Army (LNA), Bloomberg reported on December 27 citing a Turkish official.
The official, who was not named, told the outlet that the Syrian militants who will be deployed in Libya will be from ethnic Turkmen groups which have been fighting for Turkey in the northern part of Syria for years now.
“The Libyan government had initially resisted the idea of such a deployment but eventually accepted it as Haftar’s forces [the LNA] began to advance on Tripoli,” Bloomberg quoted the official as saying.
Bloomberg’s report was confirmed by the Middle East Eye, which said that Ankara had already reached out to several allied Syrian rebel groups about the deployment.
A Syrian opposition source told the Middle East Eye that Turkish-backed Faylaq al-Sham will be leading the Turkish proxy force which will be deployed in Libya. The force will also include fighters from the Sultan Murad Division and the Suqour al-Sham Brigades.
“Tripoli-based forces previously sent weapons and ammunition to help Syrian rebels in 2011. They even sent some commanders to help them … Faylaq al-Sham returned the favor by sending officials to advise Tripoli-based forces in 2014 against Benghazi forces,” one of the Syrian sources told the outlet.
The groups, which were named by the Syrian sources, are all members of the so-called Syrian National Army (SNA) that was formed in 2017 with direct support from Turkey.
A day earlier, Reuters reported that the GNA had formally requested “air, ground and sea” military support from Turkey, to fight against the LNA, which is attacking the country’s capital, Tripoli.
The Syrian militants’ involvement in the Libyan conflict will prove that they have become nothing more than mercenaries working for Ankara’s interests in the region.