Hundreds of Turkish-backed Syrian mercenaries have returned from the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh where they fought for Azerbaijan, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported on December 2.
According to the London-based monitoring group, Turkish efforts to settle the mercenaries in the region failed. Baku refused to allow Syrians to stay.
Last month, several sources revealed a Turkish plan to settle Syrian mercenaries along with their families in Nagorno-Karabakh. Ankara reportedly set up offices in the occupied Syrian region of Afrin to facilitate the plan
“over 900 fighters of Turkish-backed Syrian factions have returned to Syria in batches, with latest batch arriving in Syria last Thursday,” the SOHR said in its report. “More batches are expected to return in the next hours or days.”
The mercenaries who returned to Syria have reportedly received a part of their payment only, with the rest set to be paid within a few days.
Around 2,580 Syrian mercenaries, all recruited by Turkey, supported Azerbaijan’s offensive on Nagorno-Karabakh. At least 293 were killed by Armenian forces.
Azerbaijan, which used Syrian mercenaries as cannon fodder on Nagorno-Karabakh’s frontlines, is not apparently interested in their services anymore. Many of these mercenaries are known to be radicals, which explains Baku’s rejection of Ankara’s settlement plan.
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