52 Syrian mercenaries were killed in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone. The Washington Post newspaper reported this on October 14.
The piece says the victims were previously recruited by “Turkish-backed military formations in Syria to fight Armenia on Azerbaijan’s side”.
Turkey denies sending Syrian fighters to help its ally, Azerbaijan. However, according to the newspaper, the relatives of the two dead said the mercenaries had flown to Azerbaijan from southern Turkey and the Turkish militia had promised them monthly salaries.
Bodies of the dead were given to their relatives in early October, the newspaper specified.
The day before The Wall Street Journal wrote about hundreds of Syrian militants transferred to Karabakh and connected with Turkey and readiness to send “hundreds more” of militia to the zone of Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
French President Emmanuelle Macron also spoke about the transfer of 300 Syrian fighters through Turkey to Baku in early October. Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev denied his statement and demanded from Paris to apologize.
On October 15, Aliyev again refuted statements about presence of mercenaries in the zone of military conflict. He underlined that the army of Azerbaijan numbers more than 100 thousand servicemen and the country’s armed forces have already proved their capability to “liberate their lands”.
However, according to him, Azerbaijan uses Turkish-made military equipment along with Russian and Israeli ones.
The Russian side also expressed concern over reports of the involvement of militants and mercenaries in the Karabakh conflict. Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed this issue with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan on October 14.
The Turkish president, in turn, stated that the Syrian militants “have things to do at home” and his country does not need to send mercenaries to Karabakh despite its readiness to help Baku.