• publish: 29 September 2020
  • time: 9:07 am
  • category: International
  • No: 15541

To support Azerbaijan, Turkey sends Syrian rebel fighters

Turkey is sending Syrian rebel fighters to support Azerbaijan against Armenia as clashes escalate.

Citing two Syrian rebels, Reuters reported the two fighters, from Turkish-backed rebel groups in areas of northern Syria under Turkish control, said they were deploying to Azerbaijan in coordination with Ankara. 

They declined to be named because of the sensitivity of the issue. Reuters could not independently verify their accounts.

“I didn’t want to go, but I don’t have any money. Life is very hard and poor,” said a fighter who had fought in Syria for Ahrar al-Sham, a group that Turkey has supported.

Clashes broke out on Sunday between the two countries over the contested Nagorno-Karabakh territory which is inside Azerbaijan territory but occupied by ethnic Armenians. 

However, Armenia’s ambassador to Moscow said on Monday that Turkey had sent around 4,000 fighters from northern Syria to Azerbaijan and that they were fighting there, an assertion denied by an aide to Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev.

Armenia also said Turkish military experts were fighting alongside Azerbaijan in Nagorno-Karabakh.

Azerbaijan denied the reports. Turkey did not immediately comment, although senior officials including President Tayyip Erdogan, who has increasingly been flexing Turkey’s military muscle abroad, have promised support for Baku.

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