The Address | Benghazi – Libya
TRIPOLI – A large number of Turkey-backed Syrian mercenaries, whom Ankara sent to fight in Libya, are feeling discontented as their state-sponsor fails to fulfill the promises it made to them, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reports today.
Syrian militants as well as Turkish troops were deployed by Ankara to Tripoli in effort to aid the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA), whose militias have been fighting the Libyan National Army (LNA), led by Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, since April last year.
Citing a leaked audio-recording of one of the mercenaries, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that Syrian militants regret coming to Libya after Turkey failed to pay them.
The Ankara-backed militants were promised Turkish nationality and a monthly salary of $2,000 as reward for fighting in Tripoli, according to a report by British newspaper The Guardian.
“Turkey paid only one month’s salary and then did not give us anything. We stay at a house there and we cannot even get cigarettes most of the time. We cannot get out of the house because the area is filled with cells belonging to Haftar forces,” the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights quoted one of the militants as saying.
Similarly, U.S. journalist Lindsey Snell reported last week that seven hundred Syrian militants from the so-called Free Syrian Army rebel group have refused to continue to fight in Libya and want to return to their country.
“Haftar is striking us hard. So many dead and injured. We want out,” Snell quoted Syrian militants as saying.