“The Armenian sides are in total control of the situation. We are confident in our capacities to protect Armenia and Artsakh, and ensure the security and rights of the Armenian people in their homeland,” an Armenian Foreign Ministry spokesperson exclusively told Greek City Times.
Credible reports have emerged that Turkey is transferring its militant proxies based in northern Syria to Azerbaijan as tensions and skirmishes with Armenia rapidly increase.
Award winning journalist Lindsey Snell, who was once kidnapped by Turkish-backed terrorists in northern Syria and then thrown into a Turkish jail for two months after her escape from Syria, wrote on Twitter that fighters from the Hamza Division had arrived in the Azerbaijani capital of Baku via Turkey.
Earlier this year, the Hamza Division were exposed for holding naked and abused women in prison. They are made up mostly of Arabs and Turkmen, and have become a moveable proxy force for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
With the Libyan War escalating earlier this year, the Hamza Division were one of the main fighting groups transferred by Turkey to fight in the North African country on the side of the Muslim Brotherhood Government of National Accords whose United Nations mandate to rule over Libya expired in December 2017. The promise of a $2000 monthly wage was too much of a temptation for many of the Syrian jihadists, however, as Adnan, a leader of Hamza division, said in June, “Now we regret coming. The price we paid is high.”
When asked on Twitter whether most of the fighters going to Azerbaijan are coming from Syria or Libya, Snell revealed they are mostly coming from Syria but that around 70 militants had also been in Libya.
Snell also uploaded a voice recording of a militant claiming that up to 1,000 fighters will be transferred to Azerbaijan.
Kevork Almassian, founder of Syriana Analysis and a Syrian-born Armenian whose brother was once kidnapped by Turkish-backed jihadists, also reported that Syrian opposition sources revealed that jihadists are being offered a $600 a month salary to fight with Azerbaijan against Armenia.
However, when asked by Greek City Times about reports that Turkey is transferring Hamza Division militants from Syria to Azerbaijan, the Azerbaijani Ministry of Foreign Affairs flatly denied the accusations.
“The allegations are groundless and completely misleading. Recently, we observed in some foreign media a slanderous campaign against Azerbaijan, spreading absolutely groundless and fake information in this regard,” an Azerbaijani spokesperson told Greek City Times.
Rather, the Azerbaijani Foreign ministry spokesperson told Greek City Times that Armenia is “behind this fake campaign.”
“It is nothing else but desperate attempts by Armenia to divert the attention of the international community, while facing a mobilization and planning problem to recruit armed groups on a voluntary basis, including foreign mercenaries. There is no doubt that Armenia, which has recruited mercenaries and terrorists from the Middle East as part of its aggressive policy against Azerbaijan, is behind this fake campaign,” the spokesperson said.
Although Baku says that the claims that Syrian jihadists are being transferred to Azerbaijan is a “fake campaign” orchestrated by Armenia, the sources used by Snell and Almassian are from the so-called “Syrian National Army” that are armed, trained and backed by Turkey.
Armenia and Azerbaijan have been at loggerheads with each other over the territory of Artsakh, or more commonly known as Nagorno-Karabakh, since the Soviet Union begun collapsing in the late 1980’s.
H/T Greek City Times