In a disputed region between Armenia and Azerbaijan, fighters from Syria have been spotted. Reportedly deployed there by Turkey to aid Azerbaijan, their presence signals yet again that Turkey is using its control over northwestern Syria as a recruitment pool for expendable troops.
Previously, Turkey had organized Syrian fighters to battle Kurds. Shortly thereafter, Ankara sent thousands of Syrian mercenaries to fight for the U.N.-backed government in the ongoing Libyan civil war. Now, hundreds Syrians find themselves fighting alongside Azerbaijan’s military in another border flare-up in Nagorno-Karabakh.
Analysts and journalists are focusing on the link between Syrian mercenaries and Turkish president Erdogan’s aggressive foreign policy, but a broader dimension underlying the move remains: countries are increasingly turning to mercenaries, paramilitaries, and unofficial auxiliary forces to do the job of war-making