Turkey is allegedly preparing to deploy Syrian militants in the region of Kashmir, which remains the focal point of a serious conflict between Pakistan and India since the late 40s.
The conflict over Kashmir started after the partition of India in 1947. Back then, India and Pakistan claimed the entirety of the former princely state of Jammu and Kashmir. The dispute over the region escalated into three wars between India and Pakistan and several other armed skirmishes.
The Syrian Hawar News Agency (ANHA) said on November 9 that Turkey is preparing to deploy Syrian militants in the AJK, where they will fight as mercenaries against India.
“Turkish intelligence instructed the mercenaries of the Sultan Suleiman Shah Brigade to prepare a list of 100 mercenaries, who will undergo a training course in the Turkish city of Mersin in preparation for deployment in Kashmir where they will fight against India,” the ANHA said, citing sources familiar with the matter.
According to the ANHA, the Turkish intelligence promised the mercenaries a monthly salary of up to $3,000 during the deployment in Kashmir.
The reports on the deployment of Syrian mercenaries in Kashmir were denied by the Foreign Ministry of Pakistan and the president of the AJK.
“India’s propaganda is rubbish and a crude attempt to undercut Turkey’s political and diplomatic support for Kashmiris struggling against Indian oppression and tyranny. It won’t happen,” said AJK President Sardar Masood Khan.
The recent reports didn’t present any material evidence. However, Turkey has a track record of using its Syrian proxies as a pawn to promote its interests in other parts of the world.
Between 2019 and 2020, Turkey deployed around 18,000 Syrian militants in Libya to support the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord. In the second half of 2020, more than 2,000 Syrian militants supported Azerbaijan’s large offensive on the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh.
Despite Pakistan’s denial there is a real chance that Turkey is preparing to deploy its proxies in Kashmir. The upcoming few weeks and months will likely reveal more information on the issue.
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