AFP Report: Syrian Mercenaries Committed Sex Trafficking, Burglaries and Kidnappings in Libya – Al Marsad

A recent report by Agence France-Presse (AFP) has exposed crimes being committed by Syrian mercenaries sent by Erdogan to Libya and reveals what the Syrian mercenaries are really doing in the country.

(LIBYA, 28 May 2021) – A recent news report by Agence France-Presse (AFP) has revealed what is really happening behind the scenes with the Turkish government’s recruitment of Syrian mercenaries, which threatens to destabilize Libya.

The report confirms that many of these mercenaries are being deployed by force in Libya. Stories have surfaced of armed group leaders seizing the money the mercenaries were promised to receive.

One of the mercenaries, who was sent to fight in Libya with a brigade from the Sultan Murad Division led by the pro-Turkish Syrian National Army (SNA), said: “We went for 3 months without being paid, and then each of us asked for an advance of US$300; we were given only US$100 and they kept the rest.”

According to the report, Syrian mercenaries were attracted by good packages, which included through written contracts and verbal agreements a wage of US$3,000 a month and compensation of US$75,000 for their families in the event of their death; and in some cases they are promised Turkish citizenship. However, the armed groups violate these contracts and agreements.

The report indicates that in the end the mercenary only receives between US$800 and US$1,400, while cases of non-compensation for those killed in Libya have been reported. The reporter confirms that some of the fighters of the Syrian National Army of Turkey were expelled from their homes that this army provided for them in northwestern Syria after they refused to be deployed in Libya.

The Syria Justice and Accountability Centre (SJAC), in collaboration with the Syrians for Truth and Justice (STJ), conducted a study into the exploitative recruitment of these mercenaries. Mohammad al-Abdallah, Executive Director of SJAC, said burglaries, sex trafficking and kidnappings committed by Syrian mercenaries were reported in Libya.

These new details also corroborate the US Africa CounterTerrorism report to Congress (1 April 1, 2020 -June 30, 2020) which had highlighted highlighted the problem of sexual assault of Libyan women by Syrian mercenaries.

Mohammad al-Abdallah said the reduction in the wages of Syrian mercenaries caused them, in light of considering themselves above the law, to engage in more criminal activities in Libya in an attempt to provide funds for themselves at the expense of the security and stability of the Libyan nation.