An Armenian diplomat said that about 4,000 militants loyal to Turkey from Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham (formerly Jabhat Al-Nusra, or al-Qaeda in Syria) and the Sultan Murad Brigade arrived in Karabakh from Libya and Syria to fight alongside the Azerbaijani forces.
The former Armenian ambassador to Italy, Sarkis Gazaryan, made the public statements while present with 100 people at the sit-in organized by the Armenian community in front of the House of Representatives’ headquarters in Rome to demand an end to the “Turkish-Azerbaijani aggression”.
“The presence of these anti-Armenian jihadists is dangerous, and even more so if we take into account what the UN Secretary-General called for to stop the fighting to prevent the Covid epidemic,” the former Armenian ambassador confirmed in statements to the Italian AKI news agency.
He asked, “Where is the credibility of the policies of some European countries?”
Turkey has been accused of recruiting Syrian militants to fight against the Armenian forces in Karabakh, following their campaign in Libya.
In rare confirmation, The Wall Street Journal reported this week that “Hundreds of fighters from Syrian militias allied with Turkey have joined the fighting between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the disputed enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh, and hundreds more are preparing to go, according to two Syrians involved in the effort.”
SOHR on Syrian fighters (mercenaries, mujahideen, jihadi freelancers, pick a noun) fighting in Artsakh. These unemployed Syrian militias are going to ricochet around the world for decades yet…https://t.co/i7GCdDsJj4 pic.twitter.com/c11xfZCgtJ
— The War Nerd (@TheWarNerd) October 11, 2020
The reported cited “A Syrian rebel involved in deployments said fighters had been traveling there since mid-September—before the latest round of clashes—in groups of up to 100 at a time.”
The fighting has been so fierce that Syrian militants have already begun returning home after being shocked at the battle’s intensity: “Another Syrian with ties to the rebel groups also estimated hundreds had gone. Dozens have also returned, alarmed by the fierce fighting, that person said,” according to the WSJ.