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Assad blames Turkey for Karabakh clashes

Assad blames Turkey for Karabakh clashes

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has accused Turkey's Tayyip Erdogan of igniting a conflict between Armenian and Azeri forces in the South Caucasus.

And said Ankara was sending fighters there to aid its ally, Azerbaijan.

Tuesday's interview with Russia's RIA news agency is likely to heighten international friction over the clashes in the disputed enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh.

This footage purports to show Azeris shelling the city of Stepanakert, regarded as Karabakh's capital, at the weekend.

This is the deadliest fighting over the disputed enclave since the 1990s, involving artillery, tanks and fighter planes. Hundreds have been killed and each side accuses the other of attacking civilian areas.

While this CCTV footage claimed to show a missile strike on the Azeri city of Ganja on Monday.

Highlighting the threat of wider repercussions, Assad also said Syrian jihadists were being sent there by Turkey - an accusation French President Emmanuel Macron first leveled.

Turkey hit back on Tuesday. Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu criticized international efforts to end the conflict, saying they'd achieved nothing in nearly 30 years.

The United States, Russia and France have led mediation efforts and called for an immediate end to fighting.

The enclave is part of Azerbaijan but populated and ruled by ethnic Armenians. Turkey has dubbed that an Armenian occupation.

Cavusoglu said calls for a ceasefire weren't enough. "Can you tell Armenia to immediately withdraw from Azeri lands?," he said. Can you come up with a solution for it to withdraw?"




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