Azerbaijan’s armed forces launched massive operational and tactical exercises involving up to 10,000 personnel on September 16, the defence ministry in Baku announced.
Azerbaijan is locked in a decades-long frozen conflict with Armenia over Nagorno Karabakh. Populated mainly by ethnic Armenians, Nagorno Karabakh broke away from Azerbaijan amid the collapse of the Soviet Union and has been de facto independent and increasingly integrated with Armenia since then, though it remains part of Azerbaijan under international law. While the conflict is largely frozen, tensions periodically flare up.
The latest show of strength by Baku will involve over 100 tanks and armoured vehicles, 120 missiles and artillery systems, multiple launch rocket systems, and unmanned aerial vehicles.
“The exercise provides for the development of issues of organising and conducting a counter-offensive operation in the mountains by delivering preventive strikes to defeat enemy groups and taking possession of advantageous frontiers in the liberated territories,” the defence ministry said.
“The main attention will be paid to improving the troops control skills, as well as issues of combat, moral-psychological and logistic support,” it added.