October 1, 2020 - 20:16 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Moscow has obtained information about Syrian mercenaries taking part in Nagorno-Karabakh hostilities on the side of Azerbaijan, the official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova, told a briefing on Friday, October 1.
Zakharova said the information they have is more than mere media reports.
"The information was disseminated by news outlets citing social media sources and publications, but we certainly had our own facts and data when posting a statement on the website of the Foreign Ministry," RIA Novosti cited Zakharova as saying.
Armenia was the first to report on Turkey's deployment of thousands of Syrian fighters to Azerbaijan on September 28. International media publications followed suit, as did reaction from the U.S., France and Russia.
French President Emmanuel Macron said upon arriving at a key EU summit in Brussels on Thursday that France has obtained "accurate information" that Syrian militants from Turkey are taking part in hostilities in Karabakh.
Azerbaijan launched a major offensive against Karabakh (Artsakh) in the morning of September 27, shelling Armenian positions and civilian settlements with large caliber weapons and rocket systems. Armenia and Karabakh have introduced martial law and total mobilization. The Armenian side has reported deaths and injuries both among the civilian population and the military. On September 29, the Azerbaijani army began shelling positions and civilian settlements in Armenia, which resulted in civilian casualty. On October 1, a group of local and international journalists came under Azerbaijan's shelling of civilian settlements in Karabakh. Some of them have sustained injuries. Civilian casualty has been reported.