LONDON — The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has obtained new details on the case of Turkish-backed Syrian mercenaries in Azerbaijan from several fighters who recently returned from Nagorno-Karabakh to Syria. According to SOHR sources, the fighters who had returned to Syria received varying payments, as some were given 3,500 USD and 600 TL, another group was given 1,000 USD and 1,000 TL each, while some others were given two payments of an estimated 5,000 TL. Furthermore, all the fighters confirmed that there were “unpaid sums of money” that were supposed to be given to these fighters in the next few days.
On the other hand, SOHR sources say that the number of Syrian mercenaries killed in Azerbaijan exceeded the number of those killed in Libya, as the death toll of the Turkish-backed Syrian mercenaries in Azerbaijan has reached 541. In Libya, however, the death toll is 468 fighters.
SOHR sources have also confirmed that further bodies of Syrian fighters killed in Nagorno-Karabakh battles have arrived in Syria with the recent batches of returnees, bringing the number of fighters whose bodies were brought to Syria to 340.
Accordingly, nearly 825 fighters of the Turkish-backed factions are still in Azerbaijan, out of 2,580 fighters transported earlier by Turkish government. However, it is not known yet if they will return to Syrian soon or Turkey will maintain them in Azerbaijan in the present. Moreover, there are probably more fatalities among the fighters, who are still in Azerbaijan, whose death has not been confirmed or documented yet by SOHR sources.
Yesterday, reliable sources told SOHR that new batches of Turkish-backed Syrian mercenaries returned to Syria from Azerbaijan, as all Turkish efforts failed so far to maintain them in Azerbaijan. It is worth noting that the Azerbaijani government refused to allow these mercenaries to be settled in Nagorno-Karabakh or other Azerbaijani areas.
According to SOHR sources, over 900 fighters of Turkish-backed Syrian factions returned to Syria in batches, with latest batch arriving in Syria on last Thursday. While more batches were expected to return in the following hours or days.
Meanwhile, the returnees receive a part of their payments, an estimated 10,000 Turkish liras, and it was expected that they would get the rest of their salaries in the following few days.