Yerevan: Ankara, Baku seek to give Karabakh conflict a religious dimension

November 2, 2020 – 11:47 AMT

PanARMENIAN.Net – The transfer of jihadists to the Nagorno- conflict zone reveals the intentions of the Turkish-Azerbaijani leadership to give the conflict an inter-religious character, the Armenian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Sunday, November 1.

The military units of the Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh) Defense Army on Sunday captured the second terrorist fighter involved by the Azerbaijani side in the military hostilities against Artsakh, who introduced himself as Yusuf Alaabet al-Hajji, a resident of the village of Ziyadiya in the Jisr al-Shughur region of Idlib province of Syria. The first mercenary was captured by the Artsakh Defense Army earlier on October 30, introducing himself as Mehrab Muhammad Al-Shkheir from the Syrian city of Hama.

“The Armenian side has repeatedly raised the recruitment of foreign terrorist fighters and jihadists by Turkey from the Middle East, particularly from Libya and the areas under Ankara’s control in Syria, and their subsequent transfer and deployment to the region with the purpose of committing atrocities against the people of Artsakh. The above-mentioned fact is not merely confirmed by the intelligence services of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chair countries, a number of our partners and international community, but also by the direct testimonies of the terrorists,” the Armenian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

“In their testimonies the terrorists provided detailed information about their recruitment process, the expected monthly payment for fighting against “kafirs” (infidels), the extra payment for the each beheaded “infidel”, as well as about their envisaged terroristic plans. The transfer of jihadists to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone reveals the intentions of the Turkish-Azerbaijani leadership to give the conflict an inter-religious character.”

“This is a completely new manifestation of expansion of terrorism, when foreign terrorist fighters and jihadists from the Middle East have been deployed to the conflict zone in the OSCE area; it is a serious threat to the international and regional security and stability.

“Armenia will continue to undertake consistent steps in the fight against international terrorism, in that regard cooperating with all interested partners.”

Azerbaijan, with help from Turkey and Syrian and Libyan mercenaries deployed by Ankara, started a war against Karabakh (Artsakh) in the morning of September 27. The Armenian side has reported deaths and injuries both among the civilian population and the military. Foreign and local journalists too have been injured in Azeri shelling of towns and villages.

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