Turkey and Azerbaijan are conducting large-scale joint military exercises in eastern Anatolia, near the Armenian border.
Winter exercises, near the city of Kars, will last until February 12. This is another sign of the deepening of ties between the two allies after Turkey contributed to Azerbaijan’s victory over ethnic Armenian forces during the Six-Week War in Nagorno-Karabakh.
The Turkish Defense Minister said in a statement that the exercises are aimed at providing combat coordination and capabilities in winter conditions.
On January 30, a Turkish-Russian ceasefire monitoring center was set up in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict between Azerbaijan, Armenia and Azerbaijan. This step expands Ankara’s presence in the South Caucasus.
As a result of the Russian-brokered ceasefire agreement reached on November 9, part of Nagorno-Karabakh and all seven surrounding districts came under the control of the Azerbaijani administration. The latest military confrontation and subsequent agreement ended almost 30 years of ethnic Armenian control of the region.
Renewed hostilities have claimed the lives of more than 4,700 people between September 27 and November 9.