Turkey has sent 300 Syrian rebel fighters to Libya: Syria watchdog

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PHOTO: Foreign Policy

Turkey has thus far transported some 300 rebel fighters from Syria to Libya in support of the Tripoli-based Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA) against the eastern forces commanded by Khalifa Haftar, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR).

“The number of fighters who arrived in the Libyan capital Tripoli, has reached 300,” the watchdog said.

The SOHR also claimed that Turkey offers salaries ranging from $2,000 to $2,500 to every fighter over three-month or six-month contracts, in return for heading to Tripoli.

The group also reported that some 1,000 people are undergoing training courses in camps located in Turkish-held areas in northern Syria.

Last week Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Turkey would lend support to the UN-recognized GNA.

The same day, the GNA formally requested from Turkey “air, ground and sea” military support to fend off an offensive of eastern forces to take the capital of Tripoli.

The next day, Ankara and the GNA signed a military cooperation agreement. Afterwards, Erdoğan said Turkey might consider sending troops to Libya, and a spokesperson for the Turkish Defense Ministry announced that the military is fully prepared for possible deployment to Libya.

Since the ouster of late leader Gaddafi in 2011, two seats of power have emerged in Libya: one in eastern Libya supported mainly by Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, and the GNA in Tripoli, which enjoys UN and international recognition.

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