STEPANAKERT — Artsakh Defense Army unites have captured a Syrian mercenary who fought on Azerbaijan’s side, Armenia’s Defense Ministry said on Friday.
Defense Ministry spokesperson Shushan Stepanyan identified the captive as Mehred Mohammad Alsher from the Syrian city of Hama.
“The very first interrogation [of the captive] proved that there are mercenaries in the Azerbaijani army,” Stepanyan said, posting a one-minute video of the man’s interrogation on Facebook.
He says he is married and has three children. He admits that he was transferred to the Artsakh-Azerbaijani front line on October 19 along with 250 other fighters from Turkey. They were promised $2,000, but he was not paid.
The man was abandoned by his comrades-in-arms after being wounded. He says that they fight on the front line, while the Azerbaijani military is deployed on the 2nd and 3rd lines. Before being brought to the front, they they were trained by Turkish military instructors.
Since the outbreak of the ongoing hostilities in Nagorno-Karabakh on September 27 hundreds of Syrian jihadists recruited by Turkey are fighting alongside Azerbaijan’s regular army in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone.
According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) at least 217 Turkish-backed Syrian mercenaries have been killed in the fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh, including 138 fighters whose bodies were brought to Syria while the rest of bodies remained in Azerbaijan.
At least 2,350 mercenaries have been transferred to Azerbaijan, of whom 320 returned after they forwent everything, including their financial dues.