By Seda Sevencan
ANKARA (AA) – The Azerbaijani army has liberated 13 more villages from Armenian occupation in the southern Caucasus, Azerbaijan's president announced Friday.
“Azerbaijan’s glorious Army liberated the villages of Dolanar and Bunyadli in Khojavend, the villages of Dag Tumas, Nusus, Xelefli, Minbashili and Veyselli in Jabrayil, and the villages of Venedli and Mirzehasanli in Zengilan,” Ilham Aliyev said on Twitter.
“Long live Azerbaijan’s Army! Karabakh is Azerbaijan!” he added, referring to Upper Karabakh or Nagorno-Karabakh, the Azerbaijani territory being freed from Armenian occupation.
Later, Aliyev tweeted that that the army also freed the villages of Zilanli, Kurd Mahrizli, Muganli and Alagurshag in Gubadli.
– Upper Karabakh conflict
Relations between the two former Soviet republics have been tense since 1991, when the Armenian military occupied Upper Karabakh.
Four UN Security Council resolutions and two from the UN General Assembly, as well as international organizations, demand the withdrawal of Armenian forces from the occupied territory.
In total, about 20% of Azerbaijan's territory – including Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent regions – has been under illegal Armenian occupation for nearly three decades.
The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk Group – co-chaired by France, Russia, and the US – was formed in 1992 to find a peaceful solution to the conflict, but to no avail. A cease-fire, however, was agreed to in 1994.
Since clashes erupted on Sept. 27, Armenia has repeatedly attacked Azerbaijani civilians and forces, even violating two humanitarian cease-fires in the past two weeks.
World powers, including Russia, France, and the US, have called for a new and lasting cease-fire. Turkey, meanwhile, has supported Baku's right to self-defense and demanded the withdrawal of Armenia's occupying forces.