The Conflict Intelligence Team investigating military conflicts has confirmed the use of mercenaries from Syria by Azerbaijan in the war against Artsakh. As reported by Armenpress, the Conflict Intelligence Team published an investigative article to refute the statements of official Baku and Ankara that mercenaries are not used in the NK conflict zone.
“From the very beginning of the escalation of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict, messages were received from Azerbaijan about the participation of Syrian mercenaries in the fighting. The Azerbaijani side has officially denied the presence of mercenaries in the conflict zone. For example, this information was denied by the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Ali in an interview with “France 24”, as well as by the President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan in his speech in parliament.
However, not only pro-Armenian experts wrote about it, but also independent experts dealing with the Syrian conflict, journalists from many Western media outlets in Syria, and even officially announced the authorities of many countries, including the President of France himself, “the Conflict Intelligence Team notes. .
Conflict Intelligence Team presents how social media users managed to find the shooting locations of videos with Syrian mercenaries, confirming that they were indeed shot both in the territory under the control of the Azerbaijani authorities and in the territory of the Artsakh Republic, where Azerbaijani subversive groups were able to penetrate .
“In particular, the Syrians were present in the southern part of the front line, where heavy fighting was taking place for the settlement of Hadrut in recent days.
Thus, the data received from open sources refute the statements of the Azerbaijani and Turkish authorities that Syrian mercenaries are not participating in the conflict. At the same time, information appeared in the media during the conflict, which allows us to better understand the composition and training of mercenaries, as well as the chronology and the goals of bringing them into the Artsakh-Azerbaijani conflict zone.
The Syrians fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh have been completely or almost completely recruited in northwestern Syria. In addition to the locals, there are many refugees (or rather internally displaced persons) from areas of the country controlled by Damascus. “These territories are fully or partially controlled by Turkish troops, which have been expanding their presence in Syria since 2016, including through groups gathered from the Syrians,” the article reads.
The Conflict Intelligence Team writes that Turkish troops managed to keep part of Syria out of Assad’s power, but that part of the country did not escape the Syrian economic collapse, widespread unemployment caused by the war, and the recent double devaluation of the national currency.
Elizaveta Tsurkova, a researcher on the Syrian conflict, says that during the nine years of the conflict, a generation of young Syrians has grown up who have almost no skills other than fighting, and even have difficulty reading and writing.
At the same time, as The Guardian writes, ordinary fighters of pro-Turkish groups receive 450-550 Turkish lira (about $ 70) a month, which is hardly enough for a living. “All this creates fertile ground for the recruitment of mercenaries who are ready to defend Turkish interests in Libya for money, and now in Azerbaijan,” the article reads.
According to the Conflict Intelligence Team, back in July of this year, when the clashes on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border started, The Independent newspaper learned about the plans to involve the Syrians in the conflict in the South Caucasus.
“As Zhurkova writes, mediators began to appear in Afrin in early August, who later began recruiting militants.
Interlocutors of The Guardian announced on September 13 and 18 when the contracts were signed, and the WSJ wrote that the transfer of militants began in the middle of the same month. Finally, on September 23, four days before the start of the war, an anonymous SyriacPress source reported that members of a pro-Turkish group had been sent to Azerbaijan, providing details that matched articles published in the Western press since the start of the war. “Combining this with other information, we can confidently conclude that the current hostilities were planned in advance by the Turkish-Azerbaijani side and are not the result of another accidental escalation,” the Conflict Intelligence Team concludes.
CIT has previously investigated the involvement of Russian mercenaries in the conflict in eastern Ukraine and Syria, as well as their activities in African countries.
CIT data and conclusions