Armenian public radio published video footage on Thursday allegedly depicting an imam in Syria recruiting mercenaries to fight for Azerbaijan against Armenia in its ongoing conflict over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region.
The footage was reportedly shot in the northern Syrian city of Afrin, less than 20 miles from the Turkish border. In the video, an Islamic religious leader “is seen calling on those present to join in waging a war against Artsakh [Nagorno-Karabakh] on the part of Azerbaijan, as they did in Syria and Libya,” according to Public Radio of Armenia.
Afrin’s close proximity to Turkey is notable, as recent reports indicate that Ankara has been recruiting Syrian militants to join Azerbaijani forces in their fight against Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh, a breakaway territory. Turkey and Azerbaijan deny these claims.
Ethnic Armenian separatists seized Nagorno-Karabakh from Azerbaijan after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. The uprising ignited