Erdoğan’s interference in Syria and Libya grows

TRIPOLI / TEL TAMR, Syria – Since the Russian-Turkish ceasefire to end military escalation in Idlib, Turkey has intensified its presence in North Syria, sending military convoys of vehicles to Tel Abyad, Rish Ayno (Ras al-Ayn), and the surrounding countryside, which have been under Turkish and Syrian National Army (SNA) occupation since they invaded the region in October 2019.

The SNA, a collection of militias, including several espousing Islamist ideologies, formed and funded by Turkey, have committed numerous human rights violations in the region, sometimes even fighting between themselves over stolen property and goods.

Fifteen vehicles carrying military equipment and logistical reinforcements were sent to the village of Arbaeen in the countryside of Rish Ayno yesterday, several hours after the village of Al-Tawila, in the Tel Tamr countryside, was bombed causing material damage.

In Libya, leader of the Libyan National Army (LNA) Khalifa Haftar, expressed his dissatisfaction with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s interference in Libya’s ongoing civil war, accusing him of transporting thousands of mercenaries to the west of the country to fight in the ranks of the National Accord government (NAG). Haftar also stated the killing of several Turkish soldiers in Libya, recently.

A spokesperson for the LNA Major General Ahmed al-Mismari, stated that Erdoğan transports between 300 and 400 mercenaries to western Libya per week. Transportation of the mercenaries is carried out by civilian airliners and ships protected by international laws, Al-Mismari added.

Al-Mismari also pointed out that the number of Turkish officers in Libya has increased to 1,000, with the number of the Turkish-backed Syrian mercenaries now at more than 7,500.