Libya’s LNA captures 12 Syrian fighters in south of Tripoli: Statement

Member of Libya's GNA holds his weapon after taking control of Watiya airbase. (Reuters)

The Libyan National Army announced on Saturday that it had captured 12 Syrian fighters in Yarmouk camp, south of Libya’s capital Tripoli, according to a statement.

The announcement is the latest report of Syrian foreign fighters being used in the ongoing war for Libya between the UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) and the Benghazi-based LNA, led by Gen. Khalifa Haftar. The GNA, which is backed by Turkey, has been accused of bringing in mercenary fighters from Syria.

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Armed forces targeted fighters after ambushing and luring them into the camp, the LNA’s official Media War Information Division said in a statement on Facebook. The division also said several fighters were killed in the ambush.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights on Saturday also said that seven Syrian fighters had been killed in Libya.

The Facebook announcement came after Gen. Haftar declared that every Turkish fighter who “stepped on Libyan territory” or any mercenary sent by Turkey would be a “legitimate target,” during a broadcast speech on Saturday.

Turkey has been accused of using its influence with Syrian opposition groups to channel mercenaries to Libya. Syrian mercenaries who were captured after fighting with the GNA previously told Al Arabiya that Turkey had tricked them into fighting in Libya.

The Syrian Observatory recently said that pro-Turkish factions’ losses in Libya have been increasing, with the death toll reaching more than 300.

Turkey continues to send mercenaries to fight with the GNA with dozens of new fighters having arrived in Libya a few days ago, according to the observatory.

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Last Update: Sunday, 24 May 2020 KSA 14:46 - GMT 11:46
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