The Address | Benghazi – Libya
TRIPOLI – More than 100 Turkey-backed mercenaries have been killed in Libya, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights announced today.
Turkey has deployed troops as well as Syrian mercenaries in effort to aid the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA), whose militias have been fighting the Libyan National Army (LNA) since April last year.
Ankara’s move was heavily criticized by regional and international powers who deemed it as an escalation of the conflict in Libya and a violation of the UN arms embargo.
According to a statement by the Syrian Observatory released on Thursday, many of the Syrian mercenaries were killed during clashes in Salah Al-Din neighborhood in south of Tripoli, the Ramla area near Tripoli airport and Mashrou’a Al-Hadaba area. Others were killed in battles in Misrata and other areas in Libya.
In a similar context, the Syrian Observatory reported that the number of Syrian fighters recruited by Ankara to fight in Libya has exceeded 6,000, noting that 4,750 of them already arrived in Libya while 1,900 others are currently being trained in Turkish military camps near the border with Syria.
The Syrian Observatory revealed that this surge of the number of recruited fighters forced Ankara to lower their salaries as they have become a financial burden for the economically weak country.
British newspaper The Guardian reported in January that Syrian fighters in Libya are been paid a monthly salary of $2,000 and they were all promised Turkish nationality.