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Will Turkey use Syrian mercenaries in Kabul?

Turkey is allegedly planning to use Syrian fighters in its proposed mission to guard and run Kabul’s airport, but this time recruitment is expected to proceed via private security firms.
WAKIL KOHSAR/AFP via Getty Images
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Turkey’s government appears to have learned little from the troubles it has faced for deploying Syrian fighters in the wars in Libya and Nagorno-Karabakh, as media reports suggest it is now out to recruit mercenaries for its planned mission to secure Kabul’s airport after the US-led NATO mission completes its withdrawal from Afghanistan.

According to the Euphrates Media Center, a Syrian Kurdish news outlet, members of Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization discussed the issue June 24 with representatives of several rebel factions under the banner of the Turkish-backed Syrian National Army, including Suqour al-Sham, Suqour al-Shamal, Faylaq al-Majd, the Samarkand Brigade, the Hamza Division, the Sultan Murad Division and the Suleiman Shah Brigade. The factions were told to start preparations for the deployment of 2,000 fighters to Afghanistan, the report said, adding that the rebel representatives asked for monthly salaries of $3,000 for the mercenaries. Other Syrian Kurdish media outlets reported the meeting took place in Hawar Kilis, a village near the town of Azez, not far from the Turkish border, and the intelligence officials asked for 2,600 mercenaries.

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