The US Department of Defense has confirmed the fact of the transfer of Syrian mercenaries from Turkey to Azerbaijan against the background of the aggravation of the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh. This was announced on Thursday, October 1 by Sky News Arabia in his Twitter account.
As a Pentagon spokesman clarified in an interview with the TV channel, the matter concerns hundreds of militants. According to him, dozens of flights were carried out between Turkey and Azerbaijan, which carried mercenaries.
On September 28, the Armenian Ambassador to Russia Vardan Toganyan stated that thousands of militants who had been transferred by Turkey from Syria are fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh. Later, this information was confirmed by several commanders of the pro-Turkish Syrian National Army. According to one of them, some of the Syrian militants have already left for Nagorno-Karabakh as mercenaries in order to earn money and “help their families.” In addition, another 70 thousand soldiers are in a state of mobilization readiness, to whom “Turkey is ready to provide economic support.”
At the same time, Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov stated that accusations from Armenia regarding the involvement of mercenaries are groundless. Turkey has also denied such claims.
The situation in Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh) escalated sharply on September 27. Azerbaijan reported that Armenian forces fired at its positions and settlements on the contact line and announced a counteroffensive. Armenia, in turn, blamed the Azerbaijani military for the attack on Artsakh.
In 1991, Nagorno-Karabakh, the majority of whose population were Armenians, declared independence from Azerbaijan. Baku tried to return the region by force, a war broke out. In 1994, Azerbaijan, Armenia and the unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, with the mediation of Russia, signed a truce protocol. However, hostilities periodically resume.