Members of the so-called Free Syrian Army near the town of Bizaah, northeast of the city of al-Bab, some 30 kilometres from the Syrian city of Aleppo, on February 4, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

BEIRUT, LEBANON (10:40 p.m.) – The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), based in Britain, reported that the number of mercenaries recruited by Turkey to fight in Libya had risen to about 11,000, including 261 killed in combat.

The observatory said that new batches of hundreds of Syrian fighters have arrived in Libya via Turkey, where they are expected to fight alongside the Government of National Accord (GNA) forces against the Libyan National Army, led by Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar.

According to the SOHR statistics, the number of conscripts who have reached Libyan territory so far are about 7,850, among them a non-Syrian group, while the number of conscripts who arrived in the Turkish camps to receive training amounted to about 3,000 recruits.

The United Nations earlier condemned the flow of arms and foreign fighters into Libya, but did not directly comment on reports and accusations that Turkey was sending fighters linked to ISIS and Al Qaeda to operate as mercenaries in Libya.

Libya is witnessing two political entities fighting for legitimacy in the country, namely the Government of National Accord in Tripoli, headed by Fayez al-Sarraj, and an interim government based in the eastern city of Tobruk, which has the support of Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, whose forces have sought since last April, to control Libyan capital.

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