Erdogan is responsible for triggering Armenia-Azerbaijan clashes, says Assad
MOSCOW (RUSSIA) – President Bashar al-Assad of Syria blamed on Tuesday Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan for triggering the clashes between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh in the South Caucasus and accused Ankara of sending fighters to the troubled region.
However, Turkey has denied sending mercenaries to its ally Azerbaijan, which is Muslim-dominated.
The region, which technically belongs to Azerbaijan, but is governed by ethnic Armenians, witnessed a conflict on September 27 and has reached its intense levels since the 1990s.
Assad told the Russian news agency RIA that Erdogan has expressed solidarity with Azerbaijan and has dismissed global efforts to bring about a ceasefire.
“He (Erdogan) supports terrorists in Libya, (and) he was the main instigator and initiator of the recent conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh between Azerbaijan and Armenia,” Assad said.
He also added that militants from his country were being deployed by Turkey in the conflict zone. The allegation was first raised by French President Emmanuel Macron, who accused Erdogan of sending jihadists from Syria to fight the Armenians. This allegation has been denied by Anakara and Azeri authorities.
“Damascus can confirm this,” Assad said of the allegations.