Turkey is sending mercenaries to Azerbaijan to fight in a conflict that has brought the country to the brink of war.
Very reliable sources have informed the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights that a group of Syrian fighters of Turkish-backed factions has arrived in Azerbaijan from Turkey. This batch arrived in Turkey a few days earlier from Afrin, a Kurdish canton that was seized by Turkish-backed militia in January 2018.
The news is confirmed also by AsiaNews, official press agency of the Roman Catholic Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions, that confirms Turkey has sent 4,000 Syrian islamists mercenaries from Afrin to fight against the Armenians of Nagorno Karabakh. The salary is 1,800 US dollars a month, for a duration of three months.
The Interfax and RIA, two Russian news agencies quoted Vardan Toganyan, Armenia’s ambassador to Russia, as saying Ankara had sent some 4,000 fighters from northern Syria to its close ally, Azerbaijan.
Those mercenaries are supposed to come from the infamous Sultan Murad division accused of being very close to jihadist fundamentalist groups and also been accused of ‘war crime‘ by the United Nations.
The president of the Republic of Karabakh, Arayik Arutyunian also spoke of 4 thousand fundamentalist mercenaries who had arrived from Syria and other countries in recent days. “This is not a war between Karabakh and Azerbaijan, or Armenia against Azerbaijan. It is a direct war by Turkey, by mercenaries alongside 10 million Azeris, against 3 million Armenians”.
Azerbaijan denies to have received those mercenaries. “Rumours of militants from Syria allegedly being redeployed to Azerbaijan is another provocation by the Armenian side and complete nonsense,” said Khikmet Gadzhiev, an aide to Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev said.
Azerbaijan–Turkey relations have always been strong with the two often being described as “one nation with two states” by both Turkish and Azerbaijani politicians.
Turkey has sent Syrian mercenaries as well to Libya to fight alongside the Government of National Accord (GNA) against the Libyan National Army (LNA). The number of recruits who have been transferred by Turkey to Libya so far has risen to approximately 17,000 mercenaries of Syrian nationality, including 350 minors under the age of 18.