Military expert outlines advantages of Azerbaijan's recent control on Khankendi-Khalfali-Turssu road
Recent occurrences in the region - taking the Khankendi-Khalfali-Turssu road under control by the Azerbaijani army as well as Iran's activity on the border with Azerbaijan indicate existence of the potential tension in the region. In order to clarify what might happen in the region, Azernews interviewed military expert Adalat Verdiyev.
Q: First of all, thank you very much for taking your time to give us interview. Certainly, the liberation of the height with the conventional name of 2054 and the restoration of control over the Khankendi-Khalfali-Turssu road will provide Azerbaijan advantages in many terms. The questions is - what would be the benefits of this road for Azerbaijan?
Above all, the liberation of the 2054 height will prevent the transportation of weapons and other supplies from Armenia to Karabakh. Another advantage is that two soldiers of Azerbaijan were martyred on March 5 on the Khankendi-Khalfali-Turssu road. Having this road under our control indicates that Azerbaijan takes revenge on its martyrs, and sooner or later the positions where Azerbaijani soldiers were fired upon will be under the control of the Azerbaijani army and the Azerbaijani flag will be raised there. Another advantage is that this peak is of an important strategic height, and a number of large areas around it are under full fire and visual control of Azerbaijan.
Q. As is known, there are rumors in the Armenian media about the complete siege of Karabakh, which, in turn, paves the way for a humanitarian disaster. We would like to clarify something for both local and international audiences. Was Khankendi-Khalfali-Turssu road, which had been taken under Azerbaijani control, potentially closed?
A. A humanitarian disaster in Karabakh is out of the question. For example, yesterday 31 vehicles belonging to the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement left Khankendi for Armenia. What kind of humanitarian disaster can one talk about? If there is a humanitarian disaster in Karabakh, how did Ruben Vardanyan gain six kg? There is no humanitarian disaster. A humanitarian disaster is happening in Nakhchivan which is under siege for 31 years. We have taken control of the peak of the mountain located several hundred meters above the Khankendi-Khalfali-Turssu road. That is, Azerbaijan did not descend to the road. However, the road is in our palms, and in front of our eyes. No car or vehicle of an Armenian militant can move on that road. No illegal provision and supply can be done by using the road. In other words, the road is actually closed for military transport.
Q. Do you think that taking under control of this road will also be able to completely prevent the sending of weapons and ammunition to the separatists in Karabakh? Or, considering the landscape of Karabakh, are there other dirt roads that the separatists will use?
A. A little north of the Khankendi-Khalfali-Turshsu road, there is the Khankendi-Kosalar-Mirzaler-Turshsu road, and this road was also used by the Armenians for illegal purposes. However, we do not have accurate facts about the complete closure or taking under control of the second road. I think that Azerbaijan will definitely take control of that road because the transportation of weapons must be prevented. In parallel with this, the Azerbaijani side will install a border crossing or checkpoint on the conventional border with Armenia in the territory of the Lachin region. I think these processes will be completed during April.
Q. Obviously, the Lachin highway is under the control of Russian peacekeepers, and every day dozens of trucks belonging to peacekeepers pass on this road. Of course, it is not clear what was transported in these trucks. Do you think that the Russians can arm the separatists using the Lachin road, and what measures can Azerbaijan take in this regard?
A. We have never ruled out Russians arming Armenian separatists. In order to prevent this, as I mentioned before, Azerbaijan must establish a checkpoint on the border of Azerbaijan and Armenia. Because the Armenian side has already established such a checkpoint and the US ambassador to Armenia took a picture in front of that checkpoint.
Q. At a time when Azerbaijan is doing its best to restore peace in the region and open communications, Iran is resorting to all kinds of provocations, stating that the Zangezur corridor is a red line for them. According to recent information, Iran has deployed troops, heavy equipment, and S-300s on the border. What does this have to do with it?
A. Iran is a despicable state. It is a stain on the name of Islam. The history of Iran's activities against Azerbaijan is very old. We have observed this before the war, during the war, and in the post-war period. Iran's fear is that Iran is a state oppressed by sanctions. Relations with any of the neighboring states are not in positive dynamics. Armenia and Syria are the countries siding with Iran in the region. However, Iran has no border with Syria. That is, Iran's access to the world is only through Armenia to Georgia. Iran is worried that if the Zangazur corridor is opened, it will it will totally be restricted of access to the world. Because of the presence of US warships, Iran currently has no access to the Strait of Hormuz and the Persian Gulf. The only way it can connect is through Armenia. However, after the opening of the Zangazur corridor, the Azerbaijani side allows it to pass under the road (through tunnels) or over the road (through a bridge). This is not a problem. Iran's policy in general is a stain on the name of Islam and Turkic hostility. The only value that unites Armenia and Iran is Turkic enmity.
Q. How can we evaluate this action of Iran against the background of the processes taking place in the world and in the region - especially the impasse in which Russia is in Ukraine and the events taking place inside Turkiye?
A. There are several countries with which Iran cooperates in the world. These are Syria, North Korea, Russia, and Armenia. There is no need to explain the country that cooperates and is friendly with such countries. Iran is busy creating threats in the region. The US, Israel, and their allies are well aware that Tehran will become a global threat if it acquires nuclear weapons. The process also goes in this direction. I believe that consultations on stopping Iran are ongoing. Presumably, we will witness pre-emptive strikes on Iran's nuclear facilities at the end of April and the beginning of May.
I believe that consultations on stopping Iran are ongoing. Presumably, we will witness pre-emptive strikes on Iran's nuclear facilities at the end of April and the beginning of May.
Against the background of the threatening activities voiced and carried out by Iran against Azerbaijan, the latter receives quite serious support from the United States, Israel, England, and other countries, as well as from the member states of the non-alignment movement and the Union of Turkic States, and Iran cannot ignore this. Iran's domestic audience will not support any action of Iran against Azerbaijan. This should make Iran think seriously.
Follow us on Twitter @AzerNewsAz