From its first hours, the renewed raging Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict has seen round after round of accusations exchanged between the two old enemies.
The import of mercenaries from Syria has been one of the major accusations that both sides of the war have hurled at each other throughout the ongoing fighting that erupted in the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh in September.
This week, however, the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry unexpectedly mentioned Lebanon in its latest accusation, in which it claimed that Armenia was using mercenaries from both Syria and Lebanon to fight alongside its military.
Although Armenians from the diaspora have volunteered to join the war to defend Armenia, there is no evidence that mercenaries were hired to fight.
However, the US Department of Defense confirmed to Sky News Arabia that hundreds of mercenaries and jihadis were flown to Azerbaijan by Turkey to fight against Armenia. French President Emmanuel Macron confirmed this saying he had information “with certainty” on the presence of “Syrian fighters of jihadist groups” in Nagorno Karabakh.
Maj. Gen. Hossein Mammadov, the head of the Defense Ministry’s International Military Cooperation Department, was quoted by Russian media as denying that foreign fighters were fighting in support of his country.
“There are no and there can be no mercenaries on our side, but they are on the other side, and this is what the Armenians themselves have admitted to,” Mammadov said.
“The talk is about armed men from Syria and Lebanon,” he declared.
While the heavy clashes continue, thousands of people have been displaced as the death toll rises to a reported total of more than 300 deaths.
Meanwhile, international efforts are in place to put an end to the fighting amid growing fears of the conflict escalating into a regional war.
Next Monday, a meeting is set to take place in Moscow between France, the US, and Russia, with the aim of convincing the enemy states to cease fire and commence peaceful negotiations.
The fighting has been ongoing for nearly two weeks and prompted a comment from Lebanon, urging the warring sides to resolve their conflict diplomatically.
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