Russian diplomats have confirmed that Turkey sent Ankara-backed Syrian rebels to Libya to support Libya’s U.N. backed government against the forces of General Khalifa Haftar, Deutsche Welle reported on Wednesday.
“Turkish Foreign Ministry says no Syrian militia was sent to Libya to work with Turkish troops, however, Syrian fighters were deployed with Turkey’s coordination, according to reports of international watchdogs. Russian diplomats also confirm this information but Turkey and Russia continue discussions over Libya,” Deutsche Welle said.
Turkey signed a military deal with Libya’s U.N.-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli last month, allowing it to deploy troops in the North African country. The GNA is battling the Libyan National Army (LNA), led by Haftar, which has besieged the capital since April. The LNA is supported by Russia, Egypt, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates, while Turkey and Qatar back the GNA.
Earlier, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Turkey has sent 300 Syrian militiamen to fight in Libya, however, Ankara rejected the reports.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan last week announced that Turkish troops had begun deploying to Libya.