Moscow has condemned the alleged use of “foreign mercenaries and terrorists” in the conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh, calling them a threat to the entire region that must “immediately” be withdrawn.

“Militants of illegal armed groups, in particular from Syria and Libya” have been transported to the conflict zone “in order to directly participate in the hostilities,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a Wednesday statement commenting on the recent reports, adding it was “deeply concerned” about the development that creates “long-term threats to the security of all countries in the region.”

The ministry called on the “leaderships of the states concerned” to prevent the use of foreign mercenaries and terrorists and “immediately” withdraw them from the area.

While not naming any names, it was clear the message was intended for Turkey and Azerbaijan. Earlier this week, the Guardian and Reuters both reported that Turkish-backed militants from the Syrian province of Idlib, previously sent to fight for Ankara in Libya, have been recruited to go to Azerbaijan and work “security” jobs. (RT)