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Libya, Erdogan sends mercenaries from Syria

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Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan has more open fronts. Fronts of real war, not only of diplomatic skirmishes, albeit bitter, like the one that just broke out with Italy, triggered by the sentences on “Erdogan dictator” pronounced by the Prime Minister, Mario Draghi, after the sofa-gate which involved the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen. And Libya is a chessboard where Ankara now moves easily, on several levels, diplomatic, economic and military, now increasing the number of its own and non-personnel.

An imminent influx of mercenaries from Syria via Turkey is now being reported by the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights in a report on troop movements in the area. Ankara therefore does not intend to demobilize its positions in the Libyan capital and in Tripolitania, but rather wants to increase them. And, promptly, the broadcaster Al Arabiya reports that Turkey is determined to have its soldiers remain in the Libyan areas where they have been operating for months, with the aim of defending and strengthening their positions and bases.

The number of mercenaries selected to land in Tripoli is 380, says the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. At the same time, the researchers point out another interesting fact: that is the mood of discontent that would spread among the Syrian fighters already present on the spot. Many of them in fact thought they would be able to return home in a short time. But in Ankara the defense ministry led by the former general Hulusi Akar, very loyal to President Erdogan, has decided otherwise and the Syrians who answer to Turkey are now forced to remain in Tripolitania. A situation therefore destined to last over time, strengthening Ankara’s intentions to stabilize its presence, official but also not strictly institutional, in the North African country.

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Other mercenary groups have recently returned from Libya. But their destination still appears uncertain, given that they have not returned to their bases in Syria. At the moment only a group of 120 fighters belonging to the “Sultan Murad” faction has managed to return to Syria from Libya, as happened on 21 March last. The Observatory notes that “the return of very few mercenaries could be a Turkish media maneuver, since there are still more than 6,630 mercenaries in Libya”. An impressive number, therefore, demonstrating the great importance that the Libyan scenario still holds for Erdogan.


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