Why are Azerbaijan and Turkey holding joint military exercises on the Armenian border?
A group of Azerbaijani servicemen arrived in the Turkish province of Kars to conduct joint military exercises with the Turkish army. It will be the largest military exercise of recent times not only for the Azerbaijani, but also for the Turkish armed forces.
Kars province borders on Armenia, with whom Azerbaijan recently concluded a ceasefire in the second Karabakh war.
From February 1 to 12, tank units, cannon batteries, snipers, special forces command, commandos and military helicopters will take part in the winter joint military exercises of the two countries.
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According to the former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan Tofig Zulfugarov, the winter military exercises in Kars are planned and are aimed at preparing the armies to conduct hostilities in severe weather conditions.
“It is snowing in Kars province now, there are mountains, and weather conditions are not quite usual for the servicemen of Azerbaijan and Turkey. Perhaps this is the reason for the choice of the terrain for the next joint military exercises,” he said in an interview with JAMnews.
Commenting on panic amongst the Armenian public, Zulfugarov added:
“After the agreement on the results of the second Karabakh war [the trilateral agreement of November 10, 2020, signed by the Presidents of Russia and Azerbaijan, as well as the Prime Minister of Armenia – JAMnews], any gestures of the Azerbaijani army near the Armenian border are panicking the public of the neighboring country.”
According to the Turkish Ministry of National Defense, Azerbaijani servicemen have already arrived in Kars.
The main goal of the winter military exercises is the coordination of actions of the armies of the two countries in conditions close to combat. Also in Kars will be used the latest weapons that have recently entered the arsenal of the armies of Turkey and Azerbaijan, according to the official information of the Turkish defense ministry.
Joint military exercises of the armies of Turkey and Azerbaijan are held regularly. The last such exercises were held in July-August 2020 in Azerbaijan.