Moscow will pay each fighter $2,000 per month to join warlord Khalifa Haftar for 5 months, local sources say.

Yevgeny Prigozhin, second right, is seen attending a meeting with Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and General Valery Gerasimov with Libyan National Army head Khalifa Hifter in Moscow, Russia, on Wednesday, November 7, 2018.
Yevgeny Prigozhin, second right, is seen attending a meeting with Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and General Valery Gerasimov with Libyan National Army head Khalifa Hifter in Moscow, Russia, on Wednesday, November 7, 2018. (Libyan National Army / AP)

Russia will be sending 1,000 mercenaries from Syria to reinforce warlord Khalifa Haftar’s militia in eastern Libya.

The mercenaries will be sent from areas in eastern Syria that are under regime leader Bashar al Assad’s control, particularly the northeastern Qamishli district.

They are between the ages of 20 and 45 and will each receive $2,000 per month to be a part of Haftar’s militia for five months, local sources told Anadolu Agency.

Russia sent some 300 fighters to Libya in May for a period of three months.

It is estimated that Moscow has sent nearly 5,000 mercenaries from Syria to join the warlord’s militias in Libya.

Along with Russian mercenaries, Haftar’s militia also include Janjaweed militants from Sudan and rebels from Chad.

READ MORE: Russia sent warplanes to back 'mercenary group' in Libya 

Operation Peace Storm

Libya has been torn by a civil war since the ouster of late ruler Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

The new government was founded in 2015 under a UN-led agreement, but efforts for a long-term political settlement failed due to a military offensive by Haftar.

The UN recognises the Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA), headed by Fayez Al Sarraj, as the country's legitimate authority. Turkey has also been a key supporter of the government.

However, Egypt, the UAE, Russia, and France have been supporting Haftar and his so-called Libyan National Army.

In March, the Libyan government launched Operation Peace Storm to counter attacks on Tripoli. The operation pushed Haftar's milia from most territory it held in northwest Libya, destroying several Russian air defence systems.

However, Haftar's militia stopped retreating at the central coastal city of Sirte, which it captured from the GNA in January, and the front line has solidified there.

READ MORE: Turkey, Russia agree to push for Libya truce 

Source: TRTWorld and agencies