Proxy war in Libya

Turkey and Qatar against Saudi Arabia and Egypt (Press Release)

Libya in North Africa is becoming one of the most important theaters of war in the Middle East – and President Erdogan is recruiting young Syrian refugees to fight for him in the Libyan civil war," explained Dr. Kamal Sido, Middle East expert of the Society for Threatened Peoples (STP). "People who have found refuge in Turkey are trained and armed. Then, they are sent to Libya to fight as mercenaries for the Turkish state."

After a conversation with Rami Abdulrahman, Head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights in Great Britain, Sido reported: "Turkey has already mobilized about 6,000 people from Syria for this war, and 4,755 are currently fighting for Erdogan in Libya. A total number of 129 have apparently already died there fighting for him." Allegedly, at least 200 were sent to Italy via the Mediterranean Sea in order to travel to northern EU countries. The rest are in training camps in Turkey.

Contact persons of the STP from the Syrian-Kurdish town of Afrin confirmed that Turkey is also recruiting fighters from there for the war in Libya. "Arab-Sunni people who settled in Afrin after the expulsion of the Kurdish inhabitants are offered up to 2,000 US dollars per month if they are willing to fight in Libya," Sido reported. "The Gulf Emirate of Qatar is providing the money. Qatar and Turkey are allies in both the Syrian and the Libyan war." The two states are competing with Saudi Arabia and Egypt. While the former support radical Islamist movements, the latter are promoting Arab nationalist and secular factions.

The militiamen from Syria are not familiar with Libya. Therefore, they are accompanied by, among others, the Misrata militia, which is fighting the Libyan general Haftar, who controls the eastern part of the country. "The Misrata militia is responsible for the expulsion of 48,000 dark-skinned inhabitants of the Libyan city of Tawergha. They were accused of having supported the former Libyan dictator Muammar Al-Gaddafi," explained the Middle East expert. "The militias destroyed Tawergha and have been in control of the region since Gaddafi's fall." Contrary to a reconciliation agreement between Misrata and Tawergha on the return of all displaced persons, only about 100 of them were allowed to return to Tawergha by December, according to the International Organization for Migration.