Statement by the Foreign Ministry of Armenia regarding the deployment of foreign terrorist fighters in the region by Turkey and Azerbaijan

01 November, 2020

On November 1, during the military actions the military units of the Artsakh Defense Army 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. It should be noted that another terrorist fighter 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 voiced out about the recruitment of foreign terrorist fighters and jihadists by Turkey from various "hot spots" in the Middle East, particularly from Libya and the areas under its 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.

In their testimonies the above-mentioned 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.

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