An anti-terrorist operation was launched in Karabakh to restore the constitutional structure. Civilians and infrastructure facilities were not targeted, but it was aimed to destroy legitimate military targets, the Azerbaijani Ministry of Defence announced.
It was determined that the Armenian forces reinforced their positions with personnel, armored vehicles, artillery equipment, and other vehicles, made their units combat-ready at a high level, formed reinforcement units, expanded their intelligence activities against the Azerbaijani army, and carried out actions such as re-laying mines on mined lands.
In the statement, it was reminded that civilians and police officers lost their lives as a result of the explosion of mines laid by the Armenian forces on the Ahmetbeyli-Fuzuli-Shusha highway in Khojavent province.
It was emphasized that the continued presence of the Armenian armed forces in the Karabakh region of Azerbaijan, contrary to the provisions of the trilateral declaration signed on November 10, 2020, poses a serious threat to regional peace and stability.
"An anti-terrorist operation was launched to ensure the provisions of the Trilateral Statement, to prevent large-scale provocations in the Karabakh economic region, to disarm and remove units of the Armenian armed forces from our territory, to eliminate their military infrastructure, to ensure the safety of the civilian population returning to the liberated territories and to restore the constitutional structure of the Republic of Azerbaijan," the statement said.
"In this context, the positions of the Armenian armed forces on the front line and in the depth of the front line, as well as long-term firing points, combat vehicles and military facilities are disabled using high-precision weapons. Civilians and infrastructure facilities are not targeted, only legitimate military targets are destroyed," the statement added.
"The Russian Peacekeeping Command and the management of the Türkiye-Russia Joint Observation Centre were informed about the measures taken," the statement said.
The Armenian Defence Ministry announced that the situation on the border with Azerbaijan is stable after Baku announced that it had "launched local counter-terrorism activities" against pro-Armenian separatists in the Nagorno-Karabakh region.
The roots of the Azerbaijan-Armenia conflict date back to the early 20th century. During the Soviet Union, Josef Stalin decided to create an Armenian autonomous region in Nagorno-Karabakh, located within the borders of Azerbaijan. For this purpose, he settled a large number of Armenians from different regions. This policy of the Russians started to bear its bloody fruits at the end of the 90s.
On 24 March 1992, the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) established the Minsk Group to promote a peaceful solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. The group was co-chaired by Russia, France, and the United States (US). The OSCE Minsk Group, which was created to solve the problem, has not achieved any results so far.
The co-chairs of the Minsk Group, who visited both countries at certain intervals and met with the authorities, were contented with warning the parties not to violate the ceasefire each time.
On the one hand, Russia co-chairs the settlement group, on the other hand, it has pursued a policy of keeping the parties in its hands by creating uncertainty.
Before and after the ceasefire agreement signed between Armenia and Azerbaijan in 1994, Russia's arming of Armenia was constantly on the agenda.
During this period, it was stated that Russia directly donated arms to Armenia or sold them at the price of the Russian domestic market by allocating loans. In 1997, with the report prepared by Lev Rokhlin, Chairman of the Defence Commission of the State Duma, the lower wing of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation, it was revealed that Russia donated 1 billion dollars worth of weapons to Armenia between 1993 and 1996. On the other hand, it was reflected in the press that Russia donated 800 million dollars worth of weapons to Armenia in 2008.
Azerbaijani Defence Minister Hasanov and Defence Minister Yasar Guler held a telephone conversation.
Hasanov gave information about local counter-terrorism measures in the Karabakh region of Azerbaijan. Guler said that Türkiye stands by Azerbaijan today as it always has.
From the very first day of the outbreak of the crisis, which deeply affected the Caucasus and the neighboring geography, Türkiye supported Azerbaijan's position in accordance with the rules of international law and the relevant United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions.
Turkish officials, including Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, have called on Armenia to end the occupation at international meetings. Ankara has frequently stated that diplomatic relations with Armenia will not be established until the occupation of Azerbaijani territories ends. On every platform, Türkiye has stated that Azerbaijan's acceptance in the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is its acceptance as well.
No country or international organization has recognized Armenia's 30-year occupation and the so-called republic established in Azerbaijani territories.
In this process, the UNSC adopted four resolutions calling on Armenia to immediately evacuate the occupied territories, but the Yerevan administration did not comply with these resolutions.
The Azerbaijani side put forward the withdrawal of Armenian troops from the occupied territories as a condition for the start of the settlement process.
While the Baku administration promises high-status autonomy for Nagorno-Karabakh, Armenia wants this region to separate from Azerbaijan and become independent.