MOSCOW (Sputnik) - As many as 1,000 Syrians who have been deployed along the line of contact in Nagorno-Karabakh amid a flare-up in tensions in the disputed region are working for a Turkish private security firm, the UK newspaper The Guardian reports, citing several of the deployed Syrian security personnel.
According to the newspaper, 1,000 Syrian men were offered 10,000 Turkish lira ($1,286) a month to work for a private Turkish security firm. The Syrian personnel took a military flight to Azerbaijan before travelling to Nagorno-Karabakh, the newspaper said.
"I was hesitant to come here at the beginning because I had no idea about this country and I don’t speak the language. I knew there were skirmishes between the two countries, but I didn’t know that I was coming to war. I thought it was just guard work", one of the Syrian security personnel, whose real name was withheld, told the newspaper.
The individual said that he was stationed at a point along the line of contact that has been under sustained fire since the clashes broke out on Sunday.
Many of the deployed Syrians, who typically wear blue uniforms similar to Azerbaijani border guards, are believed to have thought that they were being offered work to guard oil and gas facilities in Azerbaijan, the newspaper stated.
In a comment to Sputnik on 1 October, the vice president of the security and intelligence committee in the Turkish parliament, Mehmet Altay, denied accusations that Syrian mercenaries had been sent to the region to fight alongside Azerbaijani troops.
The Russian Foreign Ministry has called on all sides in the conflict to observe a ceasefire and begin negotiations.