After the Turkish-Azerbaijani invasion of the self-governing Armenian region of Nagorno-Karabakh, Turkey is now preparing its jihadist mercenary army to use them against India in the Kashmir region.
The jihadist troops of the so-called Syrian National Army (SNA) gathered and trained by Turkey in northern Syria are increasingly becoming Turkey's international mercenary army.
After their operations in Libya, Azerbaijan, Artsakh, Yemen and South Kurdistan, SNA mercenaries on the Pakistani side are now to be sent to Kashmir to fight against India. While Nagorno-Karabakh was about Pan-Turkist goals, Erdoğan tried pan-Islamism again in Kashmir.
According to ANF research, the commander of the SNA militia "Sulayman Shah Brigades", Muhammed Abu Amsha, announced five days ago to members of his militia in the occupied city of Şiyê near Afrin that the Turkish state wanted to relocate some units to Kashmir. He explained that Turkish officers had asked him and other SNA commanders to list names of volunteers. Those who would agree to go would get $2,000 initially. Sources report that there was similar recruitment activity for a Kashmiri operation in Azaz, Jarablus, Bab and Idlib. The volunteers would then be secretly taken out of the country.
Pakistan is supported in its ambitions in Kashmir by the Ankara-Doha axis. The state news agencies are currently trying to drum up for the war in Kashmir, similar to the one for the Nagorno-Karabakh invasion.
Kashmir conflict deepening
Turkey's irregular troop relocation comes at a time when tension between the nuclear powers India and Pakistan is mounting. Since November 13, both sides have been bombarding each other with artillery in Kashmir. At least 13 people have died and dozens have been injured on both sides. The fighting takes place on the 740-kilometer border between the Pakistani-controlled “Azad Kashmir” and the Indian-controlled “Jammu Kashmir”. In the past five days alone, three Indian soldiers and three Pakistani-backed insurgents have been killed.
Kashmir has been divided between India and Pakistan since 1947. There are always warlike escalations between the two countries and usually those are about the Kashmir region. In particular, the Muslim majority of the population of Jammu Kashmir is fighting against Indian rule. The Indian ruling party BJP represents an aggressive Hindu nationalism and incites against Muslims. They supply ammunition to Islamist groups and Pakistan. Tens of thousands of civilians have been killed in the 30-year war for Kashmir.
Close ties between Turkey and Pakistan
Relations between Pakistan and Turkey have grown closer and closer in recent years. Together, Pakistan, Turkey and Qatar recently took action against France under the pretext of the "Mohammed cartoons". In 2019, Turkey, Malaysia and Pakistan had already agreed to set up a joint television channel for the "global fight against Islamophobia". In February, Turkish Communications Minister Fahrettin Altun said that Pakistan and Turkey are aiming to strengthen economic cooperation by increasing trade to $5 billion by 2023. Altun added that the two countries would work together on several areas, including defense and energy.
The Turkish state has also campaigned in Pakistan and Bangladesh for recognition of the Turkish-occupied northern part of Cyprus. In November, Erdoğan-affiliated media declared that "after the success in Karabakh", Northern Cyprus will also be "recognized by friendly countries". In this context, the new President of Turkey-occupied Cyprus, Ersin Tatar, is expected to make a “recognition visit” to Pakistan, Libya and Azerbaijan in the near future.