Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict: Turkey sends Syrians to fight proxy war | Gravitas
They are reported to have been members of two Syrian rebel groups that played an important role in Turkish-controlled areas in northern Syria.
WASHINGTON – Turkey has sent several hundred Syrian fighters to support Azerbaijan in its conflict with Armenia, military observers and a Syrian rebel commander said.
Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a human rights organization that has researchers in different parts of Syria, said 300 Syrian fighters have already been sent to Azerbaijan, which is a long-time ally of Turkey..
“These Syrian fighters belong to two armed groups of ethnic Turkmen, including the division of Sultan Murad and the brigade of Suleiman Shah,” the director of the organization, Rami Abdulrahman, told Voice of America in a telephone interview on Tuesday..
Two Ankara-backed Syrian rebel groups play an important role in Turkish-controlled areas in northern Syria.
The commander of the Turkish-backed Syrian National Army, Ziyad Haj Obeid, told Kurdish Rudaw TV (Iraqi Kurdistan) on Monday that there are two reasons for the Syrian rebels to join the conflict in Azerbaijan..
“Obviously, someone went to Azerbaijan, driven by financial incentives, but others made a decision guided by a sense of duty towards our Turkish allies,” Obeid said.. “Turkey has been our main supporter in Syria and we just thank you for the service rendered.”.
Two Syrian fighters interviewed by Reuters reported that their Syrian brigade commanders had promised them payments of about $ 1,500 a month in Azerbaijan..
Voice of America cannot independently confirm these claims.
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev rejected such allegations, calling them fakes in an interview with the Russia 1 TV channel. Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy reportedly called these allegations “unfounded”.
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