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After the Armenian government repeated those accusations, Ankara and Baku rejected them as “nonsense” and “propaganda.”
While the Western media outlets made sure to note they could not independently verify the claims of the militants they interviewed, a French investigative journalist appears to have managed to do so. About 1,000 fighters from the Al Hamza and Sultan Murad divisions of militants from Idlib were recruited and flown to Azerbaijan since mid-September, according to Guillaume Perrier, who provided the details about their wages, which amount to $1,000 or so a month.
Short thread here. To sum up: we talked to fighters and a commander, about 1000 fighters from Al Hamza and Sultan Murad but also from refugee camps recruited in northern Syria, sent by plane since 18th September, paid 8000 TL (1000$). At least 2 of them killed Sunday. https://t.co/URgRTC1JMU
— Guillaume Perrier (@Aufildubosphore) September 30, 2020
At least two of these militants have been killed since Sunday, Perrier said. This was when the Azerbaijani military opened fire on ethnic Armenian forces in Nagorno-Karabakh, claiming they were responding to “provocations.”
One of several border disputes left over from the collapse of the Soviet Union, Nagorno-Karabakh is an enclave predominantly populated by Armenians that seceded from Azerbaijan in 1988 and declared itself the Republic of Artsakh. A bitter war in 1991-94 left most of Nagorno-Karabakh under Armenian control, along with a territory linking it to Armenia proper. Azerbaijan is insisting on retaking the territory, and Baku’s most recent push to do so has been backed by neighboring Turkey.
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