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900 Syrian Fighters Return Home From Karabakh

900 Syrian Fighters Return Home From Karabakh

Thursday, 3 December, 2020 - 07:30
Fighting in Taftanaz [Omar Haj Kadour/AFP]

More than 900 pro-Turkish Syrian fighters have returned to Syria after the end of fighting in the disputed area of Nagorno-Karabakh, a Britain-based Syrian war monitor said in a report Wednesday.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the rest of the fighters are expected to return in the coming period.

The observatory said that new batches of pro-Turkish fighters returned to the Syrian lands from Azerbaijan, after the Turkish efforts to keep them there failed, as the Azerbaijani government refused to resettle them in the Nagorno-Karabakh region.

It added that the last batch of fighters arrived last Thursday, amid anticipation for the return of new groups within the next few days.

The returning fighters received part of their financial dues, amounting to 10,000 Turkish liras. Another sum is to be obtained in the coming days.

Director of the Observatory Rami Abdel-Rahman revealed that the returning fighters have settled in areas under the control of the pro-Ankara factions in northern Syria, including Afrin, Al-Bab and Jarablus.

Armenia and Azerbaijan signed a ceasefire agreement brokered by Russia on November 9 after six weeks of fighting in Nagorny Karabakh over the ethnic Armenian enclave that broke away from Baku’s control in a war in the 1990s.

Turkey has been accused of sending hundreds of Syrian mercenaries to fight alongside Azeri forces in the conflict, though Ankara has denied this.

The war monitor indicated earlier that the Turkish government would keep a number of Syrian fighters in the Nagorno Karabakh region, despite the end of the military operations and the agreement reached between Azerbaijan and Armenia with Russian mediation.

Ankara claims that these fighters have roots in that region, including the Caucasus and other regions.

Sources confirmed to the observatory that the fighters are Turkmen loyal to Ankara.

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