Russia has started recruiting young fighters in eastern Syria, including some from the Al-Quds Brigade, to join putschist Gen. Khalifa Haftar’s forces against the internationally recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) in Libya, a report said Sunday.
Russian forces are asking young people in the Syrian regime-held Deir el-Zour province to go to Libya to fight against GNA forces, a report by local news outlet Naher said, citing a security source who asked not to be named.
According to the source, some 15 fighters, including several members of the Al-Quds Brigade made up of Palestinian Syrians, have agreed to fight in Libya after being asked by Naim Al-Fadil Al-Fahim, who works as a delegate for the Russian forces in the village of Buqros in eastern Syria.
Al-Quds Brigades is the armed wing of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad organization, the second largest group after Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
The recruits have signed three-month contracts and will receive 45 days of military training at Deir al-Zour Airport with an approximate salary of $1,000, a report by Enab Baladi said.
Russia had also been trying to recruit fighters from various Arab tribes in the terrorist PKK/YPG-held Hasakah province to fight in Libya.
This is not the first time Russia has sent mercenaries to Libya from Syria and other places. A similar transfer of some 600 mercenaries from Syria's Homs province took place earlier.
Russian mercenaries called the "Wagner Group" also support Haftar’s forces in Libya.
The involvement of foreign mercenaries in the Libyan conflict has been documented by the United Nations.
Some fighters, however, refuse to accept the offer after realizing that they would be fighting against the Libyan government.
A group of Syrians turned down a job opportunity last week after discovering that it entailed fighting alongside the ranks of the illegitimate forces of Libyan warlord Haftar in the east of Libya, Demiröen News Agency (DHA) reported Saturday. According to information obtained from local sources, the Syrians arrived from the town of Zakyah to embark on the opportunity in Homs, only to since withdraw after learning that it involved being sent as mercenaries to Libya.
Meanwhile, five British mercenaries, offered bounties of up to $150,000 each for their roles in the plot, were involved in an operation to fly assault helicopters for Haftar in Libya, The Telegraph said last Thursday, citing a secret U.N. report prepared by the Libya sanctions committee. The men, comprised of former Royal Marines and Royal Air Force personnel, were among 20 foreign mercenaries who traveled to Libya last June in an operation to pilot assault helicopters and speed boats to intercept Turkish ships, it said.
Since the ousting of late dictator Moammar Gadhafi in 2011, two seats of power have emerged in Libya: Haftar in eastern Libya and the GNA in Tripoli, which enjoys U.N. and international recognition.
The civil war has seen a critical reversal recently as, thanks to Turkey's support, the Libyan Army has been advancing – gradually making one strategic gain after another. The Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) continue to carry out activities in Libya in accordance with the U.N. recognized right to provide training and assistance to the GNA in order to ensure Libya’s territorial integrity, sustainable peace and stability.
Haftar has been trying to capture the capital, Tripoli, for months with the aid of mercenaries brought from neighboring countries, including Sudan and Chad. Haftar's illegal attempts to grab power are being supported by the United Arab Emirates, France, Saudi Arabia and Russia. Those countries, largely the UAE, also provide military equipment to Haftar, despite a U.N.-enforced arms embargo.
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