By Vafa Ismayilova
Azerbaijan will start to conduct the operational and tactical exercises on March 15 under a plan approved by President Ilham Aliyev, the Defence Ministry has reported.
The exercises that will be held under the defence minister's leadership will involve up to 10,000 military personnel, up to 100 tanks and other armoured vehicles, up to 200 missiles and various calibre artillery systems, multiple launch rocket systems, and mortars, up to 30 military aviation assets, as well as unmanned aerial vehicles for various purposes, the ministry said.
Controlling troops, bringing them into the state of combat readiness and regrouping, improving combat coordination and interoperability between the Army Corps, Rocket and Artillery Troops, aviation and Special Forces will be the main focus of attention during the exercises to be held in a mountain-wooded area with difficult terrain.
The troops will fulfil tasks to fight against terrorist detachments (groups), in particular, illegal armed formations, and to conduct counter-terrorism operations as part of the drills that will last until March 18.
The 44-day war between Azerbaijan and Armenia from late September to early November in 2020 ended with the signing of a trilateral peace deal by the Azerbaijani, Russian and Armenian leaders.
The peace agreement stipulated the return of Azerbaijan's Armenian-occupied Kalbajar, Aghdam and Lachin regions. Before the signing of the deal, the Azerbaijani army had liberated around 300 villages, settlements, city centres and historic Shusha city. The Azerbaijani army declared a victory against the Armenian troops. The signed agreement obliged Armenia to withdraw its troops from the Azerbaijani lands that it has occupied since the early 1990s.