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Turkey Sends Syrian Mercenaries to Niger

A contingent, comprising 300 gunmen, has departed aboard a transport plane departing from a Turkish base, the pro-government al-Watan reports.
Turkey Sends Syrian Mercenaries to Niger

Opposition media sources revealed on Sunday that the Turkish administration is dispatching Syrian mercenary militants from its so-called National Army deployed in the areas under its control in northern Syria, with a mission to Niger.

According to the sources, Turkey is exploiting the situation in northern Syria to recruit more fighters as mercenaries for engagements beyond Syrian borders. Just as it did in previous conflicts in Libya and Azerbaijan, Turkey has initiated the dispatch of fighters on a combat mission to Niger.

The sources confirmed the departure of a group of fighters from factions loyal to Turkey’s National Army two days ago, aboard a transport plane departing from a Turkish base. The contingent, comprising 300 gunmen from the Sultan Suleiman Shah Division, Hamza Division, and Sultan Murad Division, was strictly prohibited from using mobile phones at the start of their journey. These mercenaries will receive a monthly salary of $1,500, which will be delivered to a relative in northern Syria through a six-month official contract.

In 2023, the Sultan Murad faction began registering militants for deployment to Niger. Some individuals were exploited by their leadership, with some resorting to paying a $200 bribe to secure acceptance as mercenaries motivated solely by financial gain.

Reportedly, the initial priority is given to the militants of the Sultan Murad faction, which is expected to send out 3,500 militants in the first wave. The first batches were dispatched at the end of last year, specifically on December 29, including 300 Syrian mercenaries from the faction.

Both Turkey and the LNA (Libyan National Army) are concealing the deployment of mercenary militants to other countries, fearing international and Syrian backlash due to their interventions in Libya and the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan.

Responding to a request from the new regime in Niamey, which assumed office in July, the United States has agreed to withdraw its troops from Niger. U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Kurt Campbell acceded to the Niamey authorities’ request during a meeting with Nigerien Prime Minister Ali Lamine Zeine in Washington, according to U.S. officials.

Niger’s new leadership has pledged to enhance defence cooperation with Russia, having expelled French troops combating terrorism in the Sahel region of Africa in January. Recently, the Novosti news agency reported that Russian experts have arrived in Niger to provide training to local security forces in counterterrorism efforts.


This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.

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