BEIRUT, LEBANON (7:55 A.M.) – The Washington Post reported this week that at least 52 Syrian mercenaries were killed fighting for the Azerbaijani Armed Forces during the battles in the Karabakh region.

The American newspaper reported that the bodies of the Syrian fighters killed in the Karabakh region were delivered earlier this month to their relatives on the Syrian-Turkish border.

The newspaper quoted these relatives as saying that “the dead were mercenaries who were recruited by the Turkish-backed armed formations in Syria to participate in the battles against Armenia alongside Azerbaijan.”

They said that the Turkish-backed Syrian fighters were promised monthly salaries, approximately $1,500 (USD), and traveled to Azerbaijan from southern Turkey late last month.

The American Wall Street Journal had published an article earlier, in which it reported the transfer of hundreds of militants linked to Turkey from Syria to the conflict zone in Karabakh.

On the other hand, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan denied on Wednesday that his country had sent fighters from the Syrian opposition to Azerbaijan. He said Azerbaijan’s military is more than capable of retaking the Karabakh region from the Armenian forces.

In addition, French President Emmanuel Macron announced on October 2, on the sidelines of the European Union summit in Brussels, that more than 300 Syrian mercenaries  had been transported via Gaziantep, Turkey to the conflict zone in Karabakh, but Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev denied this information and demanded Paris apologize.

In the same context, the Russian Defense Ministry expressed on Tuesday its concern about the information regarding the transfer of fighters belonging to terrorist groups from the Middle East to the conflict zone in Karabakh, pointing out that the Minister of Defense, Sergey Shoigu, conveyed this concern to his Turkish counterpart, Hulusi Akar, during a phone conversation that took place between them on Monday.

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