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YEREVAN, Armenia (ChurchMilitant.com) — The international community is allowing Muslim mercenaries to be used by the former Ottoman Empire to renew its genocide of the Armenian people.
On Nov. 4, Syrian mercenary Yusuf Alaabet al-Hajji revealed to Armenian authorities he had been recruited by a friend to participate in "military exercises" in Turkey.
Alaabet recounted his travel by bus across the Syrian-Turkish border where he was counted by a Turkish guard. Once in Turkey, he was flown from a Turkish civilian airport to another airport where he and 500 other mercenaries were transferred Oct. 18 to an Azeri civilian plane and flown to a military base in Azerbaijan.
Alaabet received training, uniforms and weapons by Turkish-Azeri soldiers and was instructed by the Syrian commander in charge of the mercenaries to "[S]laughter each and every Armenian."
The mercenaries were sent into Armenia with Azeri troops where they were ordered to capture a village and exterminate the occupants, both military and civilian. During the advance, the Syrians came under attack by mortars and small arms fire. Several were killed or wounded and the group retreated into the mountains. During the escape, the group came under fire again and Alaabet was wounded.
Alaabet laments he was wounded for five days and none of the Azeri soldiers with him attempted to heal his injuries or even offer attention and comfort. After being ignored for nearly a week, Alaabet crawled for three days to the Armenian position. As Alaabet got closer, he was waved over by the Armenian soldiers who provided medical attention, along with food and water.
Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has denied to the international community his government is aiding the transport of mercenaries into the disputed Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) region. Erdoğan claims he is assisting his allies in Azerbaijan with supplies and Turkish military assistance alone.
Erdoğan follows in a long tradition of lying about the wholesale slaughter of Armenian Christians. In 1915, the Ottoman Empire was responsible for the genocide of 1.5 million Armenians along with additional Christians of Greek and other ethnicities.
Diplomatic recognition of the atrocity is limited, due to Turkey's inclusion in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and partnership with the European Union (EU), with the Vatican as one of the few nations to officially recognize the Armenian Genocide.
After World War II, when both Armenia and Azerbaijan came under the sphere of the Soviet Union, a political decision was made to place Artsakh, inhabited predominately by ethnic Armenians and known as Nagorno-Karabakh to the Azeris, under the control of Azerbaijan. Armenia disputes this act and claims the territory as their own due to historical control of the area, as well as the fact it is inhabited by their people.
As far as Alaabet is concerned, it is wrong of his people to become engaged in fighting the Armenians:
I want to thank Armenians. They helped me, they treated me, they saved my life. We were wrong to have come here, they — the Armenians — are much better than we thought. They treated us ... well, may God bless them. I, Yusuf Alaabet al-Hajji, am stating that anyone who is planning to go to Azerbaijan should not take that step, because Armenians are very good people. They saved me from death. They helped me. I am urging you all: If they try to deceive you and attempt to lure you with money against this country and Armenians, don't go, even if you are poor. It is better to stay poor then to go to Azerbaijan and fight for money. The Azerbaijanis call the Armenians infidels, but they themselves are the infidels. We are infidels for coming here and fighting against these good people.
Russia has attempted to restore peace in the region but a previous attempt at a cease-fire has proven unsuccessful and it is unknown if President Vladimir Putin will be willing to militarily support his Armenian allies against his Turkish rivals for influence in the region.