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Iran Press TV

Russia says Nagorno-Karabakh could turn into launch pad for terrorists

Iran Press TV

Tuesday, 06 October 2020 3:57 PM

A high-ranking Russian official has warned that the Nagorno-Karabakh region, which has been the scene of fighting between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the past days, could become a launch pad for terrorists to enter Russian territory.

Russia's Interfax news agency cited Sergey Naryshkin, the director of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service, as also saying on Tuesday that thousands of foreign-backed militants and members of Takfiri terrorist groups operating in the West Asia region were being transferred to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone.

Commenting on the current conflict in the region, however, the Russian official expressed certainty that the warring sides would return to the negotiating table.

France recently claimed that 300 terrorists belonging to outfits active in the strategic northwestern Syrian province of Aleppo had been transferred to the Azerbaijani capital of Baku through the Turkish city of Gaziantep.

In an exclusive interview with Russia's Sputnik, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad blasted Turkey as the "main instigator" of the Azerbaijan-Armenia military conflict and said Damascus could confirm that Ankara was transferring Takfiri militants from northern Syria to the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region.

The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) also said last Saturday that at least 64 Turkish-backed Syrian militants had been killed in clashes between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces over the disputed region.

Turkey, a close ally of Azerbaijan, has blamed Armenia for the eruption of the conflict and promised Azerbaijan its "full support."

Since late September, heavy clashes have been underway between Azerbaijani and Armenian military forces over the Nagorno-Karabakh region, with each side blaming the other for initiating the fighting.

Hundreds have been killed in the clashes, the worst since the 1990s.

For years, the two former Soviet Republics have been locked in a conflict over Azerbaijan's breakaway, mainly ethnic Armenian region of Nagorno-Karabakh. A ceasefire, agreed in 1994, failed to end the conflict.

The fighting continues despite international calls for the neighbors to halt clashes and start peace negotiations.

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