Number of Azerbaijanis Fighting in Syria Revealed
The number of Azerbaijanis known to be fighting in the armed opposition against Syrian president Bashar al-Assad was revealed on August 1. Azerbaijani news services, citing Syrian opposition websites, report that there are 60 Azerbaijanis found among the ranks of the many different armed groups battling the Syrian government army. In the course of skirmishes and battles, more than 30 Azerbaijanis have been killed.
Fighters, furthermore, have come not only from Azerbaijan, but also Afghanistan (from among the fighting ranks of the Taliban), Russia (from the Northern Caucasus), and other countries.
According to the same source, the great majority of the Azerbaijani fighters are members of a sabotage unit called Jaish al-Muhajireen wal-Ansar, whose leader is probably an Azerbaijani, Abu Yahan.
All the same, conflict analyst Arif Yunus revealed back on July 11 that there are more than 300 Azerbaijani fighters in Syria, Afghanistan and Pakistan, among which 100 are in Syria. News sources in Azerbaijan with a more or less oppositionist slant wrote in the middle of July, “There are 400 Azerbaijanis fighting among the terrorist groups in Syria, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, of which 3 are women.”