Two Syrian men accused of being among mercenaries that Turkey sent to fight for Azerbaijan against Armenia during last autumn’s Nagorno-Karabakh war, may stand trial on terrorism charges.
The men will be tried should the Armenian prosecutor’s office approve police findings that they were recruited to ‘terrorise civilians’ in the region, Open Caucasus Media reported on Tuesday.
Turkey deployed thousands of Syrian mercenaries to fight alongside the Azeri armed forces in the fighting over Nagorno-Karabakh, according to analysts, NGOs and various news reports.
The total number of Syrian fighters involved in battles in Nagorno-Karabakh reached as many as 2,580, of whom some returned to Syria after they forwent salary payments, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported in December.
In early March, Armenia called for an immediate and complete withdrawal of all foreign mercenaries deployed by Turkey and Azerbaijan in the region.
The two men, captured in November, were identified as Muhrab Muhammad Al-Shkheir, 45, and Yousef Alabed Alhajj, 28, the news website reported, citing an Armenian Investigative committee.
On Nov. 11, United Nations human rights experts called for the withdrawn of all mercenaries in and around the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone.
Azerbaijan and Armenia, two former Soviet republics in the South Caucasus, signed a Russian-brokered truce on Nov. 10, to halt clashes after six weeks of fighting. More than 5,600 people were reported killed in the battles.
Turkey has supported Azerbaijan politically and militarily from the start of the conflict. It has also supplied Azerbaijan with unmanned drones that proved a key differential between the warring sides.