Syrian woman says Turkey sent her sons to fight for Libya’s GNA with ‘empty promises’

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A displaced Syrian mother has revealed how Turkey used ‘false promises’ to persuade her sons and other men to travel to Libya and fight alongside the UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) in its conflict with the Libyan National Army (LNA).

The GNA, led by Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj, is backed by Turkey, which has been accused of using its position in Syria to send thousands of Syrian mercenaries and extremists to fight for the GNA.


In recent weeks, details have begun to emerge of how Turkey has been channeling Syrian mercenaries to Libya with the promise of well-paid work.

Um Khalid, a displaced mother of six from the southern countryside of Syria’s Idlib, told Al Arabiya’s sister station Al Hadath that her sons were persuaded to go to Libya under the guise that they would be paid well enough to be able to provide for their families.

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However, her sons soon realized that the situation in Libya was far worse than they had been told.

“Don’t let anyone come [to Libya] ever. The situation [in Libya] is life or death. Do not let anyone come [to Libya] after me. It’s all a lie, there is no money,” Um Khalid’s son told her.

Her sons were first transported to Afrin in northern Syria. They were then taken across the border to Turkey where they boarded a flight to Libya.

Also read: Fight against Turkey no longer just in Tripoli: Libyan National Army spokesperson

All the “empty promises” they made to the Syrian mercenaries about financial gain were “lies,” Um Khalid said, adding that “they did not pay my son” what they promised him.

“I have two sons who regret their participation in the conflict in Syria,” she said.

Turkey has been sending mercenaries and weapons to support the GNA daily, said the LNA’s Brig. Gen. Khalid al-Mahjoub on Al Hadath earlier this week.

On Saturday, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and LNA commander Gen. Khalifa Haftar announced a ceasefire plan, set to begin June 8.

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