Published: 06 Oct 2020, 03:39 pm
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has accused Turkish counterpart Tayyip Erdogan of being the key instigator of the deadliest combat between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces for more than 25 years, reports Reuters.
In an interview published Tuesday that is likely to escalate international tension over the clashes in the South Caucasus area, Assad also said that militants from Syria have been deployed in the conflict zone.
Turkey has declined to engage in the fighting in and around Nagorno-Karabakh, a mountain enclave that belongs to Azerbaijan under international law but is ruled by ethnic Armenians, and has denied allegations that it has sent mercenaries to the region.
But Assad told Russian news agency RIA: “He (Erdogan) ... was the main instigator and the initiator of the recent conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh between Azerbaijan and Armenia.”
Reiterating the allegations first leveled by French President Emmanuel Macron that Turkey sent Syrian jihadis to fight in the conflict, Assad said: "Damascus can confirm this."