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1,000 fighters of the so-called Syrian National Army, a coalition of Turkish-funded militant groups, will be moved to Azerbaijan in September as a part of a 6-month long deployment, Syrian pro-militant media reported. According to reports, Turkish proxies will pass additional training and may even be deployed along the contact line with Armenian forces near the disputed Nagorno Karabakh region.
During the Azerbaijani-Armenian escalation in July, reports already surfaced that Turkey was deploying its Syrian proxies to support Azerbaijani forces in their standoff against Armenia. Then, Syrian sources also reported about a potential 6-month long contract for Turkish-funded militants. The monthly salary of one Turkish mercenary in the combat zone was reported to be 2,500 USD.
Local activists even claimed that Turkish intelligence was in talks with al-Qaeda-affiliated Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham to recruit a 300-man strong special forces unit that would be deployed in Azerbaijan carry out special operations on the border with Armenia.
Turkey is a long-term strategic ally of Azerbaijan and its leadership has repeatedly declared its readiness to support Baku by all kinds of measures, including military ones, in the event of a full-scale escalation in the region. Nonetheless, the July clashes ended without turning into a new regional war and Turkish and Azerbaijani authorities rushed to denounce reports about the potential usage of Syrian militants against Armenia as fake news.
Turkey has already been actively using its Syrian proxies, often linked with al-Qaeda, in Middle East conflicts. In particular, thousands Syrian militants were sent to Libya to support the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord. Therefore, the deployment of pro-Turkish militant groups in Azerbaijan is not so unlikely a scenario as Ankara and Baku prefer to claim.
In Greater Idlib, the Russian Aerospace Forces continue their airstrike diplomacy pounding Turkish-funded terrorists across the region. On September 20 and September 21, this diplomatic campaign was also supported by the Syrian Army that struck terrorist positions in northern Lattakia and south of the M4 highway in southern Idlib.
The US-led coalition and affiliated organizations have been increasing their business activities connected with the seized Syrian oil infrastructure. According to Syrian state media, just on September 20, at least 30 tanker trucks filled with oil from the US-controlled fields left Syria through the al-Walid area on the border with Iraq. The development of the seized oil reserves and export of the extracted oil is being conducted by the US company Delta Crescent Energy. The company operates in coordination with US-backed Kurdish armed groups, which are currently known under the brand of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
In public statements, the SDF leadership often uses loud words about patriotism and the need to serve to interests of the Syrian people. However, in practice, the patriotic intentions of the Kurdish leaders are limited to more practical things like the looting of Syrian oil resources in coordination with the Washington establishment.