The 13-day joint military exercises conducted by Turkish and Azerbaijani armed forces are expected to be completed on Monday.
Turkey and Azerbaijan, with the participation of the countries’ air and ground forces, launched joint military drills in the wake of recent Armenian attacks on Azerbaijani border points.
The war exercises began on July 29, and Aug. 5 was the last day of ground engagements – including artillery, armored vehicles and mortars striking simulated targets – in the capital Baku and the exclave of Nakhchivan, Azerbaijan’s autonomous region bordering Turkey. Air combat drills involving jets and helicopters were scheduled to continue in Baku, Nakhchivan, Ganja, Kurdamir and Yevlakh through Monday.
Last month, Armenia attacked Azerbaijani troops in the northwestern Tovuz border region. As a result, at least 12 Azerbaijani soldiers, including a major general and a colonel, were killed and another four soldiers wounded. A 76-year-old Azerbaijani citizen also lost his life.
Azerbaijan accused Armenia of taking “provocative” actions, with Ankara warning Yerevan it would not hesitate to stand against any kind of attack on Azerbaijan.
Nagorno-Karabakh, an internationally recognized territory of Azerbaijan, has been under illegal Armenian occupation since 1991.
International organizations, including the United Nations, have demanded the withdrawal of the occupational forces.
The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk Group, co-chaired by France, Russia and the U.S., was formed in 1992 to find a peaceful solution to the conflict but to no avail.