File photo: Turkey-backed Free Syrian Army fighters are seen at a training camp in Azaz, Syria January 21, 2018. REUTERS
Travelling from Turkey and will “arrive imminently” to fight in Libya alongside the Tripoli-based government,
Syrian sources told The Guardian on Wednesday that 2,000 Syrian fighters will be deployed in the war-torn country. The fighters are travelling from Turkey and will “arrive imminently” to fight in Libya alongside the Tripoli-based government, the report said.
Libya has been divided between two forces since the 2011 uprising that led to the collapse of Muammar Gaddafi's regime.
The first force is General Khalifa Haftar's Libyan National Army, which controls Benghazi and Libya's eastern regions, while the second is the Tripoli-based, UN-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA).
The GNA signed an agreement with Turkey on 20 December that includes sending Turkish troops to Libya based on the request of the former. The Turkish parliament voted in favour of this move.
According to the Guardian report, 300 men from the second division of the Syrian National Army, which is affiliated to Turkey-funded Syrian rebels, will be initially deployed in Libya after they had left Syria through the Hawar Kilis military border crossing on 24 December.
On 29 December, another 350 more men followed, flying to the Libyan capital Tripoli where “they have been posted to front line positions in the east of the city.”
On 5 January, 1,350 fighters entered Turkey. Some of them were sent to Libya, while others are receiving training in southern Turkey.