Yerevan [Armenia], October 1 (ANI/Sputnik): At least three members of Syrian opposition groups, who are believed to be contractors working for Turkish security companies, have been killed in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone amid the ongoing escalation of hostilities between Armenia and Azerbaijan, The Guardian reported, citing sources.
Starting from Monday, several international media and regional experts have claimed that Turkey sent militants from territories under its control in northern Syria to fight for Azerbaijan in the recent escalation in Nagorno-Karabakh. The Russian Foreign Ministry has already expressed concern over these reports and called on the leadership of the involved states to take effective measures to prevent the use of foreign terrorists and mercenaries in the conflict and to immediately withdraw them from the region.
According to the media outlet, citing opposition members operating in Syria's Idlib, they were offered by military commanders to work in Azerbaijan, in particular, to guard observation posts and oil and gas facilities. The offers prescribed three or six-month contracts with a salary of 7,000-10,000 Turkish lira ($900-1,300) per month, the publication said.
A relative of one of the Syrian men killed in Nagorno-Karabakh said his cousin told him he was leaving for Azerbaijan on September 20, days before the most recent escalation erupted on Sunday. He and other relatives of the three dead men were informed about their death on Tuesday.
Armenia has accused Turkey of recruiting Syrian mercenaries to fight on the side of Azerbaijan in Nagorno-Karabakh, something denied by Baku. Turkey has pledged full solidarity with Azerbaijan and said it was time to "end Armenian occupation" of the Azerbaijani land. Baku said Ankara gave it "moral support."
The situation in Nagorno-Karabakh escalated on Sunday when Yerevan and Baku accused each other of provoking military hostilities. Azerbaijan claimed that the Armenian Armed Forces had shelled settlements on the contact line in the area and Yerevan, which supports the breakaway republic of Nagorno-Karabakh, said the area had been subject to attacks. (ANI/Sputnik)