Ankara pays teenagers to fight on Turkey’s side in Libya, a US publication said

WASHINGTON, (BM) – Syrian groups supported by Turkey are recruiting minors to participate in hostilities in Libya, Al-Monitor, the English-language online media, learned

A report prepared by the Syrians for Al-Monitor examines Turkey’s use of Syrian rebels to seize power by the Government of the National Accord (GNA), in Tripoli, which Turkey supports in the fight against the army of General Khalifa Haftar.

Read more: 24/7 – All about Libyan civil war

Ankara is a longtime patron of factions that are currently fighting the forces of official Syrian power. Among the mercenaries there are also Syrian teenagers with fake identity documents. The report said that they were recruited for military operations along with other mercenaries who were sent to Libya.

“Our investigation revealed that children are issued forged identity documents with false information about their date and place of birth, and are accordingly registered in the personal status records of the [Syrian] National Army. Some of the children used the names of their older brothers in their fake papers, and the recruitment of child soldiers is ongoing,” the report said.

One of the sources, a civilian from the town of Marea in the Turkish-occupied Euphrates Shield zone in northern Syria, says that in January, a commander from one of the Syrian National Army factions, the Mutasim Division, came to his shop with three children between the ages of 15 and 16.

The civilian, who was not identified by name to shield him from possible retribution, said, “They told me they would go to Libya with the approval of their families. They were very happy to receive a salary of $3,000.00 [promised to them by recruiters]”.

The first information on the involvement of children in the Libyan War was published in January by the independent Syrian newspaper Jesrpress, which reported that a 17-year-old Syrian boy was killed during the fighting in Libya in the ranks of the sultan Murad’s group and that his body was sent to his family via Turkey. Images of his burial were also posted on YouTube.


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