Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has stoked tensions in Libya by sending thousands of Syrian mercenaries to the restive North African state.
Erdoğan sent the mercenaries to Libya in the light of a November 2019 memorandum of understanding he signed in Istanbul with Prime Minister of the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA), Fayez al-Sarraj.
The memorandum stipulated the sending of Turkish troops to Libya to aid the GNA in battles against the Libyan National Army (LNA).
However, the sending of the mercenaries to Libya prompted the United Nations to warn against the likely disastrous consequences of this move.
International experts said, meanwhile, that growing dependence on hirelings in the Libyan conflict stoked this conflict and did away with possible political solutions.
This, they said, reflects negatively on Libyan citizens and threatens to open the door for dangerous consequences.
A United Nations team of experts focusing on the file of mercenaries issued a statement a week ago, in which it warned against the use of hirelings in the Libyan conflict.
The team considered the sending of mercenaries to Libya to be a violation of a United Nations Security Council arms embargo imposed on Libya since in 2011. The embargo bans the sending of mercenaries to Libya or training and financing them in the country.
It called for an immediate suspension of the sending of mercenaries to Libya.
The team referred to Turkey’s involvement in hiring and sending hirelings to the war-torn state.
The Syrian mercenaries committed a large number of problems in Libya.
They committed some of these crimes in Tarhunah, a city southeast of capital Tripoli.
Video footage of the mercenaries showed them looting commercial shops and ransacking homes and stealing their contents.
Director of the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, Rami Abdel Rahman, said the Syrian mercenaries are copying the crimes they committed in Syria in Libya.
“They steal everything,” Abdel Rahman said. “They also killed Libyan civilians.”