By Vafa Ismayilova
The Azerbaijani Army has started drills involving up to 15,000 military personnel, the Defence Ministry reported on May 16.
The drills are held under the plan approved by Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev.
Up to 15,000 military personnel, 300 tanks, and other armored vehicles, 400 missile and artillery installations of various calibers, multiple launch rocket systems, mortars, and anti-tank weapons, up to 50 units of military aviation and unmanned aerial vehicles for various purposes will be used during the drills held under Defence Minister Zakir Hasanov's leadership.
The focus will be made on command and control, combat readiness, and regrouping of troops, taking into account the combat experience accumulated in the Patriotic War, including improving combat coordination and interaction between combined arms formations, missile and artillery troops, aviation and special forces.
As part of the drills that will last until May 20, the troops will carry out tasks to prevent provocations of illegal armed groups and conduct counter-operations to neutralize terrorists.
In a separate report on the same day, the Defence Ministry said that according to the drills' plan, the troops, command posts, combat and reserve units that have been put on alert are moving forward to the areas of responsibility.
The troops' redeployment is implemented covertly and operationally, according to the demands of their organization. The commandant service regulates all movements of troops and military vehicles, the report added.
The ministry later said that the command officials of the exercises and the army's military personnel involved in the drills had already left for the area of the drills.
It stressed that under the plan of the drills, rocket and artillery units had also left the places of their permanent deployment on alert, and are moving to the areas of destination.
Azerbaijan entered the Patriotic War with Armenia after that latter started firing at Azerbaijani civilians and military positions starting September 27, 2020. The war ended on November 10 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 signed agreement obliged Armenia to withdraw its troops from the Azerbaijani lands that it has occupied since the early 1990s.
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