UN Report Says Mercenaries Entered Libya from Turkey

GNA forces prepare themselves before heading to Sirte, in Tripoli, Libya, Libya July 6, 2020. (Reuters)
GNA forces prepare themselves before heading to Sirte, in Tripoli, Libya, Libya July 6, 2020. (Reuters)
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UN Report Says Mercenaries Entered Libya from Turkey

GNA forces prepare themselves before heading to Sirte, in Tripoli, Libya, Libya July 6, 2020. (Reuters)
GNA forces prepare themselves before heading to Sirte, in Tripoli, Libya, Libya July 6, 2020. (Reuters)

A United Nations report revealed that several countries have expressed concern over the arrival of thousands of ISIS and al-Qaeda terrorists to Libya.

The UN Security Council Committee concerning Libya said 7,000 – 15,000 mercenaries and terrorists from Syria have entered Libya through Turkey to fight alongside the Government of National Accord (GNA), headed by Fayez al-Sarraj, against the Libyan National Army (LNA), commanded by Khalifa Haftar.

The report found that ISIS boasts a few hundred fighters in Libya. One member state said that the number is as much as 4,000.

It expressed concern over reports that 7,000 – 15,000 fighters had been transported from northwestern Syria to the capital Tripoli through Turkey.

It is not yet clear whether these Syrian fighters were originally members of terrorist groups included on the Syria sanctions list.

The interim Syrian government in Turkey has helped send forces to Libya, it found.

The report added that ISIS was still capable of surviving, while al-Qaeda was taking root in local communities and in conflicts.

It noted that ISIS has increased its operations in conflict zones in Iraq and Syria, which is a cause of concern for member states.

It warned that these groups are exploiting the COVID-19 pandemic in order to spread propaganda and gather funds. It added that should the world go into severe recession, then the international society may encounter more obstacles in combating terrorism and extremism.

“At the same time, the pandemic has made cross-border travel more difficult and targets more elusive, and the operational tempo of attacks has slowed discernibly in some regions,” read the report.

The overall number of ISIS militants in Iraq and Syria is estimated at more than 10,000, the report revealed.

According to the report, "al-Qaeda exploits the tarnished ISIS brand and societal fractures to enhance legitimacy and gain local traction and recruits. The relationship between ISIS and al-Qaeda remains fraught and idiosyncratic, depending on regional dynamics.”



Hamas’ Armed Wing Says Israeli Airstrike Killed Two Hostages in Rafah

12 June 2024, Palestinian Territories, Khan Younis: Tents for displaced Palestinians at al-Mawasi area in the southern Gaza Strip city of Khan Younis. (Omar Ashtawy/APA Images via ZUMA Press Wire/dpa)
12 June 2024, Palestinian Territories, Khan Younis: Tents for displaced Palestinians at al-Mawasi area in the southern Gaza Strip city of Khan Younis. (Omar Ashtawy/APA Images via ZUMA Press Wire/dpa)
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Hamas’ Armed Wing Says Israeli Airstrike Killed Two Hostages in Rafah

12 June 2024, Palestinian Territories, Khan Younis: Tents for displaced Palestinians at al-Mawasi area in the southern Gaza Strip city of Khan Younis. (Omar Ashtawy/APA Images via ZUMA Press Wire/dpa)
12 June 2024, Palestinian Territories, Khan Younis: Tents for displaced Palestinians at al-Mawasi area in the southern Gaza Strip city of Khan Younis. (Omar Ashtawy/APA Images via ZUMA Press Wire/dpa)

Hamas' armed wing al-Qassam Brigades said on Friday that two Israeli hostages held in Gaza were killed in an Israeli airstrike on Rafah a few days ago.

The group, in a video posted on its Telegram channel, did not release the names of those said to have been killed or provide any evidence.

The Israeli government "does not want your hostages to return, except in coffins," the al-Qassam Brigades statement said.

Israel rescued four hostages held by Hamas in a hostage-freeing operation in central Gaza's al-Nuseirat on June 8. The health ministry in Hamas-run Gaza said more than 250 Palestinians were killed in the raid.

The war in Gaza erupted when Hamas fighters stormed southern Israel on Oct. 7, killing around 1,200 people and seizing more than 250 hostages, according to Israeli tallies.

Israel has responded with a military assault on the Gaza Strip that has killed more than 37,000 Palestinians, according to the Gaza health ministry. Israel says its campaign is intended to eliminate Hamas as a threat and free the remaining hostages.