Iran, Russia Concerned over Libyan Fighters in Nagorno-Karabakh

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Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif talked by phone on Friday and expressed concerns over the involvement of Syrian and Libyan fighters in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Russia’s foreign ministry said.

“Fighters of illegal armed groups including from Syria and Libya are being deployed to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone, in order to directly take part in fighting,” the Russian MoFA said. It added, “We are deeply concerned by these processes which not only escalate tensions in the conflict zone but create long-lasting threats to security for all countries in the region.”

Two Syrian rebel sources have told Reuters that Turkey is sending Syrian rebel fighters to support Azerbaijan, something both Ankara and Baku have denied. French President Emmanuel Macron has also accused Turkey of sending Syrian jihadists to the region.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu discussed with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov the recent developments of the Libyan crisis, as well as the armed clashes between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

The Libyan National Army (LNA) has accused Turkey of transporting mercenaries from Libya to Azerbaijan, but Turkey denied. Buraq Airlines said in a statement that the flight that landed in Azerbaijan on Thursday did so to refuel and categorically denied it carried mercenaries onboard.