Baku, Washington mull fresh Armenian border provocation, military co-op [PHOTO]
By Vugar Khalilov
Azerbaijani Defense Minister Col-Gen Zakir Hasanov and US Under-Secretary of Defense for Policy Colin Kahl have discussed the latest flare-up on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border, as well as bilateral military cooperation, Azernews reports, citing the ministry.
In a telephone conversation on September 15 at the initiative of the opposite side, the officials exchanged views on issues of bilateral military cooperation, as well as the confrontation on the Azerbaijani-Armenian state border, and the current situation in the region, the ministry said.
In the same vein, the US has hailed the truce between Azerbaijan and Armenia, Azernews reports, citing US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
"We welcome the cessation of hostilities between Azerbaijan and Armenia and will continue to work with the parties to seek to cement it. The United States remains committed to promoting a peaceful and prosperous future for the South Caucasus region" Blinken tweeted.
Furthermore, Azerbaijani First Deputy Defense Minister and Chief of the General Staff of the Azerbaijani Army Col-Gen Karim Valiyev had a telephone conversation with his Turkish counterpart Army General Yashar Guler on September 15, the ministry said in a separate report.
Valiyev briefed his colleague about the military clash that happened as a result of the Armenian armed forces' large-scale provocation on the Azerbaijani-Armenian state border, as well as the decisive retaliatory measures by the Azerbaijan army units.
Guler, for his part, expressed condolences for Azerbaijani servicemen who become martyrs during the suppression of the Armenian military forces' provocation and wished the injured a speedy recovery. He reiterated that, as usual, Turkiye stands by Azerbaijan.
Similarly, Valiyev had a phone call with Russian Defense Minister Army General Sergei Shoigu on September 15 at the initiative of the opposite side.
The parties addressed the region's military-political situation, provocations committed by Armenian armed forces, and other issues, the ministry said.
To recap, units of the Armenian armed forces carried out large-scale provocations along the Azerbaijani-Armenian state border in the Dashkasan, Kalbajar, and Lachin directions during the night of September 13. At night, Armenian sabotage groups mined land and supply roads linking the positions of the Azerbaijani army units in different directions, taking advantage of the area's steep topography and existing ravine gaps.
The clashes between the sides ensued as a result of the urgent efforts made by the Azerbaijani armed forces to quell these activities. As a result, 71 armed forces personnel were killed, the ministry detailed.
The Azerbaijan military units stationed in these areas took decisive retaliatory measures to suppress the provocations of the Armenian armed forces and military threats to Azerbaijan's territory and sovereignty, as well as to ensure the safety of military personnel, including civilian workers involved in infrastructure construction in Kalbajar and Lachin districts, the ministry emphasized.
As of September 16, the Armenian government reported 135 losses among military personnel.
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