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Turkey to send Syrian mercenaries to Yemeni-Saudi border

IDLIB, Syria (North Press) – A source from the Turkish-backed Syrian National Army said on Sunday that Turkey is preparing dozens of militants from the Turkish-backed armed opposition in northwestern Syria to send to Yemeni-Saudi border.

The source, who works in the Sultan Suleiman Shah group, told North Press that groups of the Syrian National Army have been working for weeks to prepare dozens of militants to send to Yemen.

Turkey is working to mobilize the maximum number of members of the armed groups by luring them with salaries, as the salary of one militant reaches $2,500, according to the source.

The mission of the mercenaries will be limited to guarding the Yemeni-Saudi borders from the Saudi side, without participating in any internal battles, according to the source.

However, Turkey previously indicated that the militants they sent to Azerbaijan would simply guard Turkish bases there, but over 540 Syrian mercenaries were killed in the Nagorno-Karabakh region during the invasion of Azeri and Turkish forces, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR).

It is expected that the first groups of mercenaries will head to the Turkish Hawar Kilis area next week, where they will undergo several checks by the Turkish forces before they are sent to Yemen, the source added.

The militant will spend a period of six months guarding the border based on a contract that is signed before leaving, and if he wants to return before the end of the contract period, he will not be paid, according to the source.

SOHR reported last year that Turkish intelligence had recruited Syrian militants in northwestern Syria to send them to the conflict zone in Yemen.

Turkish intelligence agents have formed an operations room in the Syrian city of Afrin to send Turkish-backed Syrian opposition members to Yemen, according to SOHR director Rami Abdurrahman.

The mercenaries who go to Yemen get $500 as an initial payment, after which they get a monthly salary of $900, Abdurrahman added.

Previously, Turkey sent hundreds of mercenaries of the Turkish-backed armed opposition groups to fight in the wars in Libya and Azerbaijan, in exchange for salaries of up to $2,000.

Reporting by Bara’ al-Shami

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