By Jeyhun Aliyev
ANKARA (AA) – Turkey and Azerbaijan, with the participation of their air and ground forces, continued on Thursday joint military drills in the wake of recent Armenian attacks on Azerbaijani border points.
The Azerbaijani Defense Ministry in a statement said the next stage of "large-scale joint tactical exercises" was held in the country based on bilateral military cooperation agreements.
The armed forces performed various combat elements, as well as training and combat missions using armored vehicles and helicopters, it added.
The ministry also shared a video footage of the exercises.
The war games began on July 29, and Aug. 5 was the last day of ground engagements taking place in the capital Baku, and the exclave of Nakhchivan – Azerbaijan's autonomous region bordering Turkey – with artillery, armored vehicles, and mortars striking simulated targets.
Air combat drills involving jets and helicopters will continue in Baku, Nakhchivan, Ganja, Kurdamir and Yevlakh until Aug. 10.
Azerbaijani authorities have time and again praised Turkey's support "during hard times."
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 martyred, 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.
Upper Karabakh, or Nagorno-Karabakh, an internationally recognized territory of Azerbaijan, has been under illegal Armenian occupation since 1991.
International organizations, including the UN, have demanded the withdrawal of the occupational forces.
The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe 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.