Recent Syrian reports say that Turkey has recruited hundreds of Syrian mercenaries to be sent to the conflict region of Nagorno Karbach to fight against Armenia.
On September 22, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu demanded from Armenia to stop its aggression against Azerbaijan.
“Ankara stands side by side with Azerbaijan and may God bless the soldiers who were murdered recently,” he said.
According to Anadolu Agency, Turkey’s Vice President Oktay said that “Armenia has again shown the world that it does not abide by laws and covenants.” He stressed that “it is time for the international community to see these issues and see the difference between right and wrong.” The Vice President stressed that his country stands alongside the Azerbaijani brothers.
In the same context, Mustafa Shantub, the Turkish Parliament Speaker said on Sunday, that “after the Armenian terrorist attack against Azerbaijani sites, Armenia has become a terrorist state that threatens the security of Azerbaijan and the entire region. Turkey, with all its power, will continue to stand by Azerbaijan,” Shantoub added in a tweet according to Anadolu Agency.
For years, Turkey has exploited the Syrian situation in favor of its foreign policies by recruiting thousands of Syrian rebels. Initially, it formed groups such as Faylaq al-Sham, then the Free Syrian Army and the Syrian National Army. Then it gathered thousands of poor Syrians to fight in Jarablus, Aleppo, in 2016. After that, it sent thousands more to fight against the Syrian Kurds in Afrin, in an attempt to divide and occupy northern Syria.
Later on, it recruited Syrians and sent them to fight in Libya, after the AKP ruling party in Turkey signed a deal with the beleaguered Tripoli government over energy and military bases. And now, Erdogan, who creates a new international crisis every month, appears to be targeting Armenia.
Ironically, Ankara has created successive crises this year: In February and March it launched a war in Idlib, Syria, then in Libya in April and May, then bombing northern Iraq in June and July, threatening Greece in the eastern Mediterranean in August and September, now pledging support for Azerbaijan in its recent clashes with Armenia.
A Syrian source provided photos and footage of buses allegedly carrying Syrian mercenaries who were recruited by Turkey and sent to Armenia on Wednesday 23 September.
The same sources confirm that those Syrians recruited by Ankara are linked to crimes in Afrin and Tal Abyad.
The sources say that there is a batch of buses with 200 mercenaries on board, linked to the pro-Turkey Sultan Murad group. A footage posted online included Syrian conscripts who claim to have been sent to a base near the border with Armenia.
The report says a soldier will be paid $ 500 a month, while officers will be paid higher salaries indeed. This reminds us of the arrangements made with thousands of Syrians suffering from poverty, when Turkey recruited them and sent them to Libya illegally.
Observers say that the Turkish intervention in Azerbaijan is part of Ankara’s discourse aimed at turning the conflict into a religious issue, through which it seeks to restore the influence of the Ottoman Empire, the Turkish national empire that succeeded in expanding under religious slogans.
In addition to investing Islamic sympathy and attracting militant groups to their agenda, observers point out that Turkey’s involvement in tensions is a way for Erdogan’s government to divert attention from economic problems at home and a way to recruit more poor Syrian refugees under the banner of religious struggle against “terrorists”, to fan the flames of nationalism and extremism. It is the discourse through which the ruling party in Turkey is trying to establish its influence locally and regionally.
The observers indicate that this strategy would bring bad consequences for Turkey, as the more countries it bombs, threatens and invades, the greater the possibility of forming an alliance to confront Turkey’s aggression, crises and endless threats.
For example, in the Mediterranean, Ankara’s threats prompted Greece, Cyprus, Israel, Egypt, France and the United Arab Emirates to work together, and Europe became closer to taking deterrent sanctions against Ankara.
Most Syrians have become convinced that the invasion and ethnic cleansing in Afrin is evidence that Ankara is a great threat just like Assad. The situation is the similar in Libya, where the Turkish game has become exposed, especially after Fayez al-Sarraj, the head of the GNA announced his resignation and Ankara expressed annoyance with that step, which revealed to most Libyans that what matters to Turkey is the agreements it concluded, not the people or the political solution.