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Azeri president denies reports Syrian militants fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh

He added that these reports "circulate across different websites and media outlets"

MOSCOW, September 29. /TASS/. Azeri President Ilham Aliyev has said that there are no militants from Syria in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone.

"No. This is just more fake news. There are no Syrian militants. There is not a single piece of evidence or proof," he told the Russian TV Tuesday.

Aliyev added that these reports "circulate across different websites and media outlets." "There is no need in that (attracting militants from Syria - TASS). Azerbaijan has a well-trained army and a large mobilization reserve. Literally yesterday I declared a nationwide mobilization, we are calling tens of thousands of people in reserve to take up the arms. We have no need of human resources with a population of 10 million compared to Armenia’s 2 million," he noted.

On September 27, Baku said that Armenia had shelled the Azerbaijani army’s positions and Yerevan, in turn, claimed that Azerbaijan’s Armed Forces had launched an offensive towards Nagorno-Karabakh, shelling regional settlements, including the capital, Stepanakert. Both parties reported casualties, including civilian casualties. Both Armenia and Azerbaijan have declared martial law and a troop mobilization. Baku reports that it took a few Nagorno-Karabakh villages and strategic heights under its control. Yerevan says that territories outside of the disputed region are shelled.

The conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the highland region of Nagorno-Karabakh, a disputed territory that had been part of Azerbaijan before the Soviet Union break-up, but primarily populated by ethnic Armenians, broke out in February 1988 after the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region announced its withdrawal from the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic. In 1992-1994, tensions boiled over and exploded into large-scale military action for control over the enclave and seven adjacent territories after Azerbaijan lost control of them. Talks on the Nagorno-Karabakh settlement have been ongoing since 1992 under the OSCE Minsk Group, led by its three co-chairs - Russia, France and the United States.