Turkey have been hiring mercenaries to help the Azeri-Azerbaijani troops battle against Armenia on the frontlines, according to reports.
Baku – the capital of Azerbaijan – has called the news “nonsense” and calls it Armenian “propaganda”.
Similar to what happened in Libya in recent years, rebels from Syria are being recruited by Turkey to fight for Azerbaijan as tensions along the Nagorno-Karabakh region escalated into full-scale attacks this week after troops clashed in the mountains along the border on Sunday.
Azerbaijani artillery and aircraft attacked an Armenian base last night and Azeri forces targeted non-combatants in the small Armenian border town of Vardenis destroying a bus full of civilians, according to the Armenian government.
The rebels – from the Syrian region of Idlib which borders Turkey -and are reportedly paid roughly $900-$1,300 a month, a huge sum compared to the average monthly sum paid to militants in Syria of $57-$70 to fight President Bashar Assad.
“Our salaries aren’t enough for living, so we see it a great opportunity to make money,” said one Syrian fighter who was taken to the Afrin base on the border with Armenia.
“There are no jobs available,” added his brother.
I used to work as a tailor in Aleppo but since we were displaced to Azaz, I’ve tried many times to practice my craft but my family and I can’t earn enough.”
Most of the men will be asked not to fight but guard oil and military facilities on contracts worth around 7,000-10,000 Turkish lira a month which equates to between 900 and 1300 US dollars.
“When we first started being offered work abroad in Libya, people were afraid to go there, but now there are definitely thousands of us who are willing to go to either Libya or Azerbaijan,” said the first man.
I didn’t want to go, but I don’t have any money. Life is very hard and poor,” another man said.
Turkey have refused to comment on the situation and Azerbaijan has said the claims are ‘nonsense.’
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