Update (28 February, 2011):
Two days after Global Voices published this story, the Serbian Ministry of Defence issued a statement on 25 February, 2011, denying Serbian military involvement to the Libyan civil unrest. Quoted in Reuters, the Defence Minister said,
“No active or retired Serbian military personnel were involved in the events in Libya and we deny all such media reports.”
However Libyan anti-government website Libya al Youm reported on 27 February, 2011, that Serbian radio station BIR had reported airplanes from the Serbian Republic carrying mercenaries to suppress demonstrators in Libya.
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According to a Maltese blog Malta CC, Serbian military pilots reportedly took part in the bombing of protesters in the Libyan cities of Tripoli and Benghazi. This claim was made public after two Libyan pilots fled to Malta, refusing to bomb their fellow citizens participating in the Libya uprising.
Serbian daily Alo reminded readers that Muammar al-Gaddafi had hired Serbian pilots before: in the 90s, in combat operations against radical Islamists, but also in actions against civilians, in support of the ground forces.
In the same article, Alo revealed that Serbian mercenaries were allegedly killing protesters in the streets of Tripoli and Benghazi:
Serbian mercenaries earn tens of thousands dollars for this job… They come from Serbia, but Bosnian and Croatian agencies are involved in recruiting for this kind of work…”Serbian legionnaires” are veterans of the conflicts in the former Yugoslavia. In addition to former members of the military and police units, the bulk of these forces are the former [“Red Berets“]… Gaddafi pays them as much as they demand! A good number of them had great-paying jobs in various African countries, but this was an offer not to be rejected. It can be expected that in the near future a lot of our contractors go with Gaddafi, who has great confidence in Serbian soldiers.
It appears that Serbian netizens are not too surprised by these allegations and revelations. Krstarica forum is one of the venues rich in debate.
No wonder, people. Professionals are doing everything for money… No emotions, no morals… Kill for the one who offered more. In the wars in the former Yugoslavia they cooperated with the Croats, Muslims, why now would not work for Gaddafi. It doesn't matter to them at all who the boss is.
It is OK! Gaddafi has always been on the Serbian side…
It seems that he believes the Serbs most… Libya has not recognized Kosovo, yet another reason to support Gaddafi.
Neca 1977 asks:
How do I apply for Gaddafi's mercenaries?
Mika Egzekutor observes:
Bosniaks and Croats are today finding jobs for those who were shooting them yesterday.
Paja 1408, a Serbian military officer, recalls:
Hey, gentlemen, what is strange about it? I know personally, when I was in military schools, there were also Libyans, Iraqis, Zambians, Palestinians… I know that they were in Russian [military] schools also. Gaddafi's military experts appreciated the school in Yugoslavia… He knew to recruit the best ones to join the Libyan army… Many were coming to help Libyans under special contracts… […] Personally, I have had an offer to go there, and I know many colleagues who went…
Visitors on an ultra-right, white power forum “Stormfront” also spoke of the alleged involvement of the Serbian “dogs of war” in Libya.
Here are a few things that I've heard from a person who served in the Foreign Legion and later as a solo mercenary. Here is what you get if you're a mercenary in Libya:
1. $10,000-$20,000 monthly in cash
3. Wife and prostitutes
4. Gold medals
5. An opportunity to work at Gaddafi's security sector or for security of a Gaddafi family member