Turkish F-16 fighters, which are in Azerbaijan, arrived in the country to participate in military exercises before the aggravation of the situation in Nagorno Karabakh region, President of the Republic Ilham Aliyev said in an interview with CNN-Turk.
These fighter jets are not involved in the armed conflict, he noted.
He added that in 2019, the countries held ten joint exercises, but this year, the maneuvers took place only twice due to the coronavirus pandemic. Some of them took place just before a new round of the conflict in Karabakh.
F-16s are on the ground. They arrived in Azerbaijan to participate in military exercises. But they don’t fly and don’t take part in any military actions in any form, Ilham Aliyev said, RIA Novosti reports.
Open clashes resumed in Nagorno Karabakh on September 27. In his televised address, President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev accused Yerevan of shelling residential settlements and the Azerbaijani army’s positions in various directions. He added that Armenian provocations recently became regular.
The current stage of the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan has been ongoing for three decades. As a result of the Karabakh war of 1992-1994, nearly 20% of Azerbaijani territory is under occupation and controlled by the self-proclaimed Nagorno-Karabakh republic. Armenian soldiers are present there on a rotational basis. Yerevan neither admit it officially nor conceal it.
The international community recognizes these lands as part of Azerbaijan and supports the negotiation process’s continuation while opposing any attempts to resolve the territorial dispute through force. Baku and Yerevan repeatedly stated readiness for a compromised solution, but many fundamental disagreements keep the conflict frozen.
NEWS.ru reported earlier that Armenia attracted Syrian and Lebanese war veterans to Karabakh to internationalize the conflict.