Recently, a video showing Turkish-backed Syrian mercenaries complaining for not getting paid after fighting for Azerbaijan in the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh went viral.
The mercenaries seen in the video have now retracted their confession in a laughable manner in an attempt to clear the name of a notorious Turkish-backed commander.
On April 11, the mercenaries appeared in new footage claiming that they fabricated their last video and made false accusations in exchange for money. The militants claimed that they were paid by Ahmad Rahal, a former Syrian Arab Army general who is now working as a pro-opposition political analyst.
Rahal is a known critic of Turkey and its proxies in Syria. Last year, he was briefly arrested by Turkish authorities for no clear reason. The arrest was deemed political by many in the Syrian opposition.
In the last video, the mercenaries acknowledged that they fought in Nagorno-Karabakh last year. They also accuse Mohamad Jasim, also known as “Abu Amsha,” the leader of the Turkish-backed Suleyman Shah Division, of stealing their salaries.
بعد التحقيقات والتدقيق تبين لدى جماعة أبو عمشة أن العميد أحمد رحال من دفع الدولارات للعناصر التي سجلت الفيديو الذي يفضح سرقات ابو عمشة وليس رامي عبد الرحمن.#تعليق: سأساعدكم بالنشر على صفخاتي
استحو على دمكون واستحو على حالكون، يبدو الدعسة كانت قوية وطاش راسكون وعم تتخبطو؟ pic.twitter.com/XE1LueiKmk
— العميد ركن أحمد رحال (@rahhalahmad06) April 11, 2021
In the new video, however, the mercenaries deny fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh and claim that they held a fake protest in exchange for a few hundred of dollars paid by someone close to Rahal.
One of the mercenaries complained in the first video about being injured in Nagorno-Karabakh, only to claim in the second video that his leg was injured as a result of a “motorcycle accident”.
The new video was widely criticized by opposition activists, with many speculating that the mercenaries retracted their confession after pressure or even threats from Abu Amsha and Turkey.
The participation of Syrian mercenaries in Nagorno-Karabakh battle is well-documented. Around 2,500 were deployed by Turkey to support Azerbaijan’s attack on the disputed region. Over 500 were killed by Armenian forces. Some were even captured.
The battle in Nagorno-Karabakh, which started last year on September 27, came to an end on November 9 with a Russian-brokered peace deal between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
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