BAKU, Azerbaijan, Aug.19
Azerbaijani-Turkish military exercises have become a warning signal for the occupying country of Armenia, head of the military affairs department of the Azerbaijani Presidential Administration, Colonel General Maharram Aliyev said in an interview with Trend.
As Aliyev noted, in accordance with the Agreement on Military Cooperation between Azerbaijan and Turkey and based on the annual plan, Azerbaijan hosted large-scale Live-Fire Joint Tactical and Flight-Tactical Exercises of the Land and Air Forces of the two countries.
The exercises were held this month according to schedule.
“I would say that these exercises differed from the previous ones in their scale and new and very important strategy. They were in the spotlight of the whole world and demonstrated the military power of our countries in a wider coverage,” the colonel general stressed. “It should be noted that the joint exercises involved personnel of the armies of the two countries, armored vehicles, artillery and mortars, military aviation and air defense.”
“The exercises were held in Nakhchivan, Ganja, Kurdamir and Yevlakh, as well as in Baku, the capital,” he said. “Of course, such large-scale military exercises could not be ignored by the world community, as, in my opinion, fraternal Turkey at present is the leading state and has one of the most powerful armies, including in terms of conducting anti-terrorist operations and protecting state borders. Currently, we are witnessing the successful operations of the military contingent of the fraternal country in various countries of the world.”
“Azerbaijan has become an influential state both in the Caucasus region and in the international arena, and this factor was seen during the military exercises that we are talking about,” Aliyev pointed out. “Given that 20 percent of the territory of Azerbaijan is still under occupation as a result of the aggressive policy of Armenia, and that our treacherous neighbor committing from time to time military provocations and incidents, seeks to continue its occupation policy, it’s easy to guess why Armenia is so alarmed.”
“In this regard, I want to remind about the provocation of Armenia in the direction of[Azerbaijan’s] Tovuz district. As a result of an unsuccessful sortie, the Armenian army was repelled back retreating with significant losses,” the colonel general further said.
Another important point is that our heroic officers, regardless of their ranks, fought together with their soldiers on the line of contact; they werein front of them, inspiring them to fight Armenian armed forces, noted Aliyev.
He went on to say: “The fact that Major General Polad Hashimov, who died in these battles, fought on the line of contact as a professional high-ranked officer should do and gave his life for the territorial integrity of the country, proves that our servicemen, from ordinary soldiers to senior officers, are ready to go along this path as one, resolutely fighting for their Motherland, for Azerbaijan!”
“Surely, the heroic deed of our general Polad Hashimov is an unparalleled example for every soldier, officer and citizen,” he emphasized.
“Of course, we can consider the large-scale military exercises that followed the Armenia’s provocation as a warning signal. In this case, truth and justice are on our side; the norms of international law, numerous resolutions and documents confirm that the Azerbaijani lands are under occupation, and Armenia is an aggressor country,” he said. “Many states supported the position of Azerbaijan after the provocation in Tovuz, and brotherly Turkey declared unity with Azerbaijan. Armenians are undoubtedly worried about this, and the exercises in Nakhchivan seriously shocked Armenia.”
“From this point of view, I believe that the [joint] exercises of the armed forces of Azerbaijan and Turkey were one of the last warnings to the occupying country of Armenia, which realizes that in case of a local military confrontation, Armenia as a state will face the threat of disappearing from the world map, and in this case, all responsibility will definitely fall on the leadership of the occupying country,” Aliyev stressed.
He noted that after the military exercises, Azerbaijani foreign and defense ministers visited Turkey, held meetings in an expanded format, met with the country’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and discussed the tasks ahead.
“Furthermore, President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev received Turkey’s Minister of National Defense Hulusi Akar, chief of the general staff, commanders of the land, air and naval forces of Turkey. At these meetings, it was emphasized that the[joint] military exercises have become a tradition, which is manifested in the annual holding of more than 10 joint exercises,” the colonel general noted.
“Another issue is that the two countries have established cooperation in the military-technical sphere, especially in the military industry. This is an unprecedented cooperation; there are no other countries in the world which would hold such close military contacts,” he said. “However, it is no secret to anyone that Turkey currently has a very strong military-industrial potential, and we also benefit from this potential, because Turkey has one of the most modern military-technical arsenals in the world, and most of them are of its own production.”
“The presence of such military power in Turkey naturally worries some circles, and the occupying country Armenia is also concerned about this factor,” Aliyev pointed out. “The statements made by President Ilham Aliyev during the meeting that military-technical cooperation with Turkey will continue to expand and this country will become the main partner for Azerbaijan, determine the transformation of our countries into a single power center capable of ensuring stability and security in the region.”
Commenting on the bellicose statements of the Armenian leadership and politicians, in particular on the threat to strike at Ganja and other large cities of Azerbaijan, the colonel general noted that attempts to remain on agenda through such absurd judgments is yet another unsuccessful move designed for the internal audience.
“They just twaddle. These are the same occupiers who made similar statements in 2016, but received a formidable response several times during the April battles,” he said. “Nevertheless, in order to hide from the people a heavy defeat, numerous losses, recaptured occupied territories and heights, they hardened military rhetoric, made false threats, but what happened? The Azerbaijani army won the Gunnut victory in Nakhchivan, further strengthening its military fortifications and keeping the military-strategic regions of Armenia under control.”
“This country seemingly still adheres to the old thinking and ambitions, and is seriously worried about the impending fiasco. The forces that the Armenian side hoped for are already turning away from them,” the colonel general pointed out. “At present, we are witnessing a worsening of the internal situation in this country. The [Armenian] broad masses don’t trust their leader; the army is weak, and the soldiers are hungry and technically poorly equipped.”
“At the same time, the Armenian prime minister continues to dishonor himself in the political scene. As the most recent example, it is pertinent to remind his goofing when answering questions in an interview with the BBC TV [HARDtalk] channel. Making absurd statements while denying the obvious facts is beyond any logic,” he added.
“Presently, not only the Azerbaijani, but also the Armenian people know and understand that the Armenian leadership will never be able and will not dare to perpetrate its public threats. On the contrary, the Azerbaijani army is capable of liberating the occupied territories, in a short time, and international political centers, I repeat, are on our side; as well as its historical lands,” the colonel general summed up.