28 Syrian fighters loyal to Ankara have been killed in Karabakh...

Posted in: 02/10/2020 – 17:24

                At least 28 Syrian militants loyal to Ankara, fighting with Azerbaijani forces in Nagorno Karabakh, have been killed since the start of the confrontations with Armenian separatists, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.             

According to the director of the observatory, Rami Abdul Rahman, the dead belonged to pro-Ankara Syrian factions, and they are among more than 850 Syrian fighters transferred by Turkey to the disputed area since last week.

Agence France-Presse was able to verify that the families of at least three of them were informed of their deaths, including the leader of a group that left the town of Atarib in the western countryside of Aleppo last month.

On Friday, social media users in northern Syria shared pictures of four fighters, who said they had died in the fighting.

According to the observatory, the fighters belong to pro-Ankara Syrian factions, which are spread in its areas of influence, especially in the north of the Aleppo governorate. Most of them descend from the Turkmen component.

Yerevan, which is part of a military alliance of ex-Soviet republics led by Moscow, accused Turkey of sending mercenaries from northern Syria in support of the Azerbaijani forces.

On Friday, Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed his “concern” about reports of the presence of foreign fighters in Karabakh.

However, the Azerbaijani Ministry of Defense denied the presence of Syrian fighters on its territory. “We totally reject this, and Azerbaijan does not need any foreign fighters, because we have professional armed forces and we also have sufficient reserve forces,” Assistant to the President of Azerbaijan Hikmat Hajiyev said in a press conference Friday.

There has been no official comment from Turkey yet about these accusations.

International calls for the two neighboring countries to cease fire and begin talks are intensifying, at a time of mounting fears that the confrontations could turn into a multi-front war to lure the two regional powers, Turkey and Russia.

The new confrontations that erupted last Sunday are the most violent in decades, and have claimed nearly 200 lives, including more than 30 civilians.

            

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