BAKU—The number of Azeris known to be fighting in the armed opposition against Syrian president Bashar al-Assad was revealed on August 1.
Azeri news sources, citing Syrian opposition Web sites, report that there are 60 Azerbaijanis among the ranks of the many different armed rebel groups battling the Syrian government army.
The sources also reported that some 30 Azeris have been killed during clashes.
Furthermore, fighters have come not only from Azerbaijan, but also from Afghanistan (from among the fighting ranks of the Taliban), Russia (from the Northern Caucasus), and other countries.
According to the same source, the great majority of the Azerbaijani fighters are members of a sabotage unit called Jaish al-Muhajireen wal-Ansar, whose leader is probably an Azerbaijani, Abu Yahan.
All the same, conflict analyst Arif Yunus revealed back on July 11 that there are more than 300 Azerbaijani fighters in Syria, Afghanistan and Pakistan, from which 100 are in Syria. News sources in Azerbaijan with an oppositionist slant wrote in the middle of July, “There are 400 Azerbaijanis fighting among the terrorist groups in Syria, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, of which 3 are women.”