Syrian opposition to send new batch of Syrian mercenaries to Azerbaijan

AZAZ, Syria (North Press) – Private sources informed North Press that Turkish-backed Syrian armed opposition groups are about to send new groups of Syrian mercenaries to Azerbaijan to fight alongside Azerbaijani forces in the Karabakh region (Artsakh), which is disputed between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

An informed source told North Press that on Tuesday, the Turkish-backed Amshat group gathered dozens of mercenaries in Sadaqa Camp near the city of Azaz, north of Aleppo.

Nagorno-Karabakh, known as Artsakh, is a mountainous region officially recognized as part of Azerbaijan, though it has a predominately Armenian population and is a de facto independent country which calls itself the Republic of Artsakh.

Amshat group operates within the areas held by the Syrian opposition in northwestern Syria and is part of the Turkish-backed opposition’s Syrian National Army.

The source added that more than 150 militants from the various Syrian groups had registered their names to enter Turkey and later Azerbaijan.

Reports are continuing regarding Turkey sending Syrian mercenaries to support Azerbaijan, following an announcement by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that his country stands by Azerbaijan in its war against Armenia.

The source indicated that the group had withdrawn ten militants who had registered their names and transported them by bus to an unknown location, which was likely to have been brought to Turkey via the border.

A source from the opposition groups said that preparations are underway to register about a thousand armed mercenaries in the city of Afrin, northwestern Syria, and send them to Turkey.

The source added that the militants are gathered in one of the military headquarters of the opposition groups to be transferred later to Turkish territory, without mentioning their main destination.

Turkey, according to reports, continues to recruit Syrians to fight in the Karabakh region by providing financial incentives under the pretext of protecting bases and facilities there.

The current fighting between Azerbaijan and Armenia is the fiercest since 1990s, after Artsakh announced its autonomy and its independence from the Azerbaijan Soviet Republic in 1988.

Reporting by Khalid Hassan