The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported on October 13th that a Syrian armed organization supported by Turkey has been dispatched to Azerbaijan, who is currently in an armed conflict with Armenia.
WSJ cited sources in Syria, saying that pro-Turkish Syrian militants in units of a maximum of 100 each have already been put into this armed conflict as mercenaries, as well as hundreds more currently preparing to be dispatched as ground infantry.
Azerbaijan and Armenia agreed to a ceasefire on October 10th, but as the fighting continued sporadically even after the ceasefire, Turkish armed forces indirectly intervened through these Syrian armed groups.
Turkey is allied with Azerbaijan and share the same religion, Islam, with them, as well as a similar language. They have built up a firmly pro-Turkish armed group in northern Syria over the course of the Syrian Civil War that has lasted for the past nine and a half years.
One Syrian combatant said to WSJ reporters, “It is not a big deal to go to Libya or Azerbaijan, and it doesn’t matter who we fight,” adding, “As long as I can earn money to feed my family, I will apply to do anything anywhere.”
In this regard, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu called Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar on the 12th to warn against sending “terrorist molecules” to Nagorno-Karabakh, the disputed area over which Azerbaijan and Armenia have been fighting.
Turkey’s indirect intervention can increase tensions with Russia, who mediated the ceasefire agreement, suggesting the possibility that this armed conflict could turn into a battle of larger powers surrounding the Middle East, known as a proxy war, rather than a local war.
In the worst-case scenario, the Nagorno-Karabakh dispute could become a proxy battlefield for even other powers with different interests, such as the United States (US), Russia, Iran, Turkey, and will become the same as Syria, who has been in the midst of a devastating civil war for almost 10 years that has taken hundreds of thousand of lives and displaced over 10 million people.
He sends the springs into the valleys; they flow among the hills.
They give drink to every beast of the field; the wild donkeys quench their thirst.
By them the birds of the heavens have their home; they sing among the branches.
He waters the hills from His upper chambers; the earth is satisfied with the fruit of Your works.
(Psalm 104:10-13, NKJV)
Lord, You are the Creator of all things and are sovereign over every circumstance. Only You can satisfy the needs of all nations! Lord, have compassion upon Armenia and Azerbaijan, who have deeply rooted anger and bitterness toward each other due to mere territorial disputes.
The news of the ceasefire seemed hopeful at first, but we know that no work of man can ever bring true peace. This region is so desperately in need of Your grace as they continue to mobilize their armies and do not cease to engage in sporadic clashes.
Lord, would You especially have mercy upon the young Syrian men, who are being bribed to their deaths, rushing into the battlefield with weapons and guns in desperate attempts to earn money for their family. May Your gospel of life move faster than death among them.
Above all, may the Azeri and Armenian churches repent from division and hatred toward each other and rise up as Your pure churches! May they love, pray for each other, and be unified by the cross, so that not only these two nations but all nations may quickly receive Your heavenly gospel and be saved! Amen!