The Armenian Foreign Minister, Zohrab Mnatsakanyan, confirmed that they have overwhelming evidence that Turkey has sent militants from Libya and Syria to Nagorno-Karabakh.
In an interview with Russia’s ‘Sputnik’ news agency, the FM said that there is undeniable evidence of Turkey’s use of foreign fighters from Libya and Syria. They are being sent to fight alongside Azerbaijani forces.
“This was confirmed according to the intelligence data obtained by the Minsk Group Co-Chairs, affiliated to the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). This is in addition to the reports received from the conflict zone. Turkey sees this conflict as an opportunity to increase its influence in another region of the south Caucasus. The policy of trading on the conflict and inflicting great human suffering on the peoples for spreading its power should be resisted, not encouraged’,’ Mnatsakanyan said.
Earlier this month, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo condemned Turkey for sending fighters to take part in the ongoing conflict.
The former Armenian Ambassador to Italy, Sergis Ghazarian, also confirmed that about 4,000 mercenaries from the Al-Nusra Front, and the Sultan Murad Brigade arrived in Nagorno- Karabakh.
The situation in Nagorno-Karabakh escalated on 27 September, when Azerbaijan said its positions had come under extensive fire from Armenia. Armenia, in turn, said the Azerbaijani army had staged an offensive in the direction of Nagorno-Karabakh.
It said a number of settlements in Nagorno-Karabakh, including its administrative centre Stepanakert, had come under shelling by Azerbaijan. Both sides report casualties, including civilians, and both have also imposed martial law.
The conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan is over the highland region of Nagorno-Karabakh, a disputed territory. It had been part of Azerbaijan before the Soviet Union’s break-up but is primarily populated by ethnic Armenians. Fighting had already broken out in February 1988, after the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region announced its withdrawal from the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic.