1800 USD for fighting against Nagorno Karabakh – Novaya Gazeta about Syrian mercenaries


YEREVAN, OCTOBER 23, ARMENPRESS. Russian Novaya Gazeta has published an extended investigative article, presenting the mechanisms of recruiting Syrian mercenaries, conditions and their use by Azerbaijan against Artsakh (Nagorno Karabakh). ARMENPRESS reports author of the article Wadih El Hayek notes that though up till now Turkey and Azerbaijan deny the information of Syrian mercenaries sent by Turkey to Nagorno Karabakh conflict zone, the facts proof the opposite.

The author published the photo of a mercenary, noting that it’s Mohamed Shaala, killed during military operations in Nagorno Karabakh.

‘’He is Syrian, born in Al Atārib,a small town near Aleppo. In the past he used to fight with Suvar al-Sham under the Free Syrian Army. After the start of military operations in Nagorno Karabakh, he went there to fight for Azerbaijan. He was killed in the first days of the conflict’’, the author writes.

Wadih El Hayek also published the data of the Syrian observatory for human rights.

‘’According to the data, 134 Syrian citizens have died during Nagorno Karabakh fights. 13 of them during the last 48 hours. All of them have been recruited by Turkish citizens for participating in Nagorno Karabakh conflict from the Azerbaijani side. A representative of the secular opposition of Syria told us that so far 185 Syrian mercenaries have been killed’’, Wadih El Hayek writes.

According to him, some Syrians who have been sent to Azerbaijan have already asked the Turkish brokers to help them to return to Syria without getting their promised payment.

‘’It’s hard to say how many Syrians are now in Azerbaijan, but in the initial reports 1000 mercenaries were mentioned. It’s important to understand that during the first days of the NK escalation the main recruitment process was taking place. Later it declined a little for the reason that clashes in Karabakh have acquired other nature. There is no direct shooting between the infantry, the clashes take place mainly with the help of UAVs and artillery. But we don’t know if Azerbaijan will need some more fresh Syrian blood’’, the author writes.

Wadih El Hayek presented some details of the conditions of the deal.  According to him, the mercenaries are promised attractive salary (1800 USD) which they will receive upon arrival, and in case of not returning his family will get the sum and 30 thousand USD.

‘’In any outcome, the mercenaries and their family members are guaranteed to get Turkish citizenship. These conditions are quite attractive for the Syrians to go and protect the Turkish interests in Azerbaijan’’, the author writes, noting that they get just 77 USD in Idlib for fighting against the regular Syrian army. Wadih El Hayek says that these mercenaries rose during the Syrian civil war and see no life perspective.

''This generation is the core of militants faithful to Turkey, whom president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan uses in conflicts from Caucasus to northern Africa, confronting that force to Russia’’, Wadih El Hayek writes.

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