According to intelligence data from Armenia, nearly 4,000 mercenaries from Syria are taking part in the military operations unleashed by Azerbaijan against Artsakh. According to verified information, 81 mercenaries were killed during combat operations.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also reported Sunday 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 in north-western countryside of Aleppo.
The group’s sources have confirmed that there is another batch being prepared to be sent to Azerbaijan. These developments come as a part of Turkey’s policy of turning the Syrian fighters into mercenaries. Reportedly the mercenaries are paid $1,500 to $2,000 and are placed on Azerbaijan border positions.
“Syrian rebel fighters have signed up to work for a private Turkish security company as border guards in Azerbaijan, several volunteers in Syria’s last rebel stronghold have said, at a time when the long-running conflict between Baku and neighboring Armenia is showing dangerous signs of escalation,” reported the Guardian on Monday.
The mercenaries, however, have caused chaos in the Azerbaijani villages where they are deployed and the altercations with the local Azerbaijani populated has even escalated to clashes, according to the Free Azerbaijan website.
“The Syrian militants have caused chaos. According to reports there have been clashes between the local residents and the Syrian militants for already two days. The militants from the Middle East are mistreating the villagers, insulting them, threatening, prohibiting women to go outside without wearing hijabs. In addition, the ‘guests’ are attacking and looting the local stores and not allowing shopkeepers to sell liquor. In other words, the militants are applying Sharia Law” the Azerbaijani news website reported.
Moreover, the Azeri military police has intervened to prevent a potential large-scale clash. The military police officers were able to forcefully bring the situation under control for now.
Local residents have stressed that it is alarming that they have to withstand the militants who are fighting on their own side.
The Human Rights Organization of Afrin has released a list of rebel divisions active in Syria that have been transported to Azerbaijan and hired as mercenaries to fight against the Artsakh military in the ongoing Azeri offensive.
According to the organization, 80 fighters from the seven different divisions were killed in action.
The Syrian militants have arrived to Azerbaijan through Turkish territory.
Below is a list of the divisions and losses.
- al-Sharqiya rebel group – 19 militants
- Hamza Division – 4 militants
- 51rd Division – 9 militants
- Jaysh al-Nukhba group – 11 militants
- Levant Front – 22 militants
- Al Furqan Brigade – 33 militants
- Al-Mutasim Division – 6 militants
Not being deterred by all of this the Azerbaijani and Turkish media are reporting false claims that Kurdish militants are stationed in Artsakh and are supporting the Armenian troops in their fight against the Azerbaijanis.
The Turkish haber7.com claimed that the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militants were transitioning through the territory of Iran, from Syria to Armenia. In recent days, the Azeri media, citing the same source, claimed that the Armenian battalion, recently trained by the YPG / PYD in northern Syria, had been sent to Artsakh to take part in the fights against Azerbaijan. The Turkish official sources are also inclined to promote this false thesis.
This false information has repeatedly been refuted. Officials in Artsakh and Armenia have commented on this.
Specifically, Artsakh presidential spokesman Vahram Poghosyan talked about this topic saying, “By spreading such information, Azerbaijan is trying to contradict the confirmed information that their army is being replenished with extremists from Syria. I can surely say that it is an absolute lie and does not correspond to reality.”