Hundreds of Syrians are said to be fighting in the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan, driven there by the need to earn money, report Bel Trew and Rajaai Bourhan.

Wrapped in plastic and white sheets, the ashen corpse of Mohammed Al-Shuhna, a Syrian mercenary allegedly killed in Azerbaijan, is shuttled back to north Syria just two weeks after he had first left.

In the grainy mobile phone footage sent to The Independent by Mohammed’s friends, a crowd of men pull back the coverings to check the identity of the 22-year-old as he lies on a metal gurney.

According to family and colleagues, the ex-rebel fighter, from Maarat al-Nouman in Syria’s northwest Idlib province, was among approximately 55 dead Syrians who were brought home via the Huwwar Killis border crossing with Turkey over the weekend.

All had been allegedly hired by a private Turkish security firm to fight with Azerbaijani forces against ethnic Armenians over the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh.

The Turkish and Azerbaijani authorities vehemently deny this is happening. But people who knew Mohammed, claim he was among hundreds of Syrians from opposition-held northwest Syria that have participated in the southern Caucasus conflict and was killed in heavy shelling as the fighting rapidly intensified last week.  

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