Syria blames Turkey for fighting between Azeris and Armenians

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YEREVAN/BAKU (Reuters) – Syrian President Bashar al-Assad accused Turkish counterpart Tayyip Erdogan of being the main instigator in the deadliest fighting between Armenian and Azeri forces for more than 25 years.

In an interview published on Tuesday that is likely to exacerbate international frictions over the clashes in the South Caucasus region, Assad also said militants from Syria were being deployed to the conflict area.

Turkey has denied involvement in the fighting in and around Nagorno-Karabakh, a mountain enclave that belongs to Azerbaijan under international law but is governed by ethnic Armenians, and has dismissed accusations that it sent mercenaries to the area.

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.”

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