A day after France's Emmanuel Macron condemned Turkey's transferring Free Syrian Army (FSA) militants to fight in Libya at the Berlin peace conference, a new video has surfaced and is going viral which shows a group of foreign fighters strolling through the streets of Tripoli.
The regional publication Libya Review describes the short video as featuring a group of Turkish-backed Syrian mercenaries walking through the capital city. Macron on Sunday slammed Turkey's program to send thousands of jihadists to fight Gen. Khalifa Haftar in Libya. Macron expressed "acute concerns over the arrival of Syrian and foreign fighters in the city of Tripoli" which "must end". Erdogan, Putin, Macron, Pompeo and other leaders were present for the talks which produced little definitive agreements other than common commitment to cease the flow of foreign weapons and fighters.
According the Middle East news site Al-Masdar, one of the militants appears to be a Syrian teenager, and another greets the group with “Libya welcomes you”:
The video was actually published by Libya Review on the very day of the Berlin conference on Libyan peace.
It also comes days after separate video surfaced showing dozens of Syrian jihadists being flown into Tripoli on a commercial jet, in confirmation of a bombshell Guardian report which said some 2,000 Syrian mercenaries sponsored by Turkey were due to enter the Libyan battlefield in support of the government of Prime Minister Fayez al-Serraj (GNA).
Despite Macron and other European leaders condemning the foreign fighter influx Sunday, Serraj gave a subsequent interview saying he'll welcome any external support. He was asked point blank in the interview about the Syrians, and seemed to support the now not-so "covert" initiative.
#BREAKING— Libya Review (@LibyaReview) January 20, 2020
In an interview with BBC News Libya’s GNA Prime Minister Fayez Al-Sarraj was asked about Syrian fighters arriving in Libya.
He replied “We will not hesitate in cooperating with any party willing to help us defeat the aggressor (LNA)” #Libya pic.twitter.com/PS8dmjQQJx
Meanwhile, on the opposite side of the conflict Haftar's Libyan National Army has accused both Erdogan and the GNA of fueling the rebirth of ISIS in the region.
Late last week the Pentagon actually confirmed a “small” resurgence in the Islamic State’s numbers in Libya, with Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Gen. Paul Selva, voicing concern that ISIS was being given breathing room to reconstitute as a “third party in the fight in Libya.”
But then the hypocrisy of France and the US expressing "concern" over terrorists in Libya is rich, considering it was their own 2011 military intervention against Gaddafi and support for jihadist "rebels" which created the current crisis in the first place.
Foreign countries meddling in Libya meet to discuss problems of foreign countries meddling in Libya. https://t.co/AGqoX7PuPx— Max Abrahms (@MaxAbrahms) January 19, 2020
As we've mentioned before, the war Libyan proxy war 2.0 is set to be among 2020's most devastating and deadly geopolitical crises.