Jan 18, 2021 13:53 UTC
  • Turkey, Azerbaijan preparing for joint winter military drills

Turkish and Azerbaijani armed forces are getting prepared to hold joint winter military exercises in Turkey's Kars region.

According to a statement by the Republic of Azerbaijan's Ministry of Defense on Sunday, servicemen from the armed forces of the two countries are to take part in the joint Winter Exercises 2021.

The Turkish Armed Forces also confirmed in a separate statement on Sunday that preparations were underway for the most comprehensive winter drills in recent years.

The drills will mostly focus on training exercises for sheltering, reinforcement and maintenance during harsh winter conditions.

Speaking at a ceremony before Azerbaijani forces departed for the Sadarak checkpoint bordering Turkey, Major General Fazil Agalarov outlined the scope of Azerbaijani-Turkish military-technical cooperation, and stressed the importance of the joint military exercises held annually in Nakhchivan and Kars regions for Baku and Ankara.

Turkey's Daily Sabah reported that tank divisions, cannonry, sniper teams, helicopters and commandos will also participate in the drills.

It added that the two militaries will practice ground and air assaults, airdrops, airborne operations and logistic support.

Domestically-produced weaponry and equipment are to be tested during the twelve-day drills scheduled for February 1-12, it said.

Ankara and Baku launched a two-stage joint military exercise last year.

Turkey put its support behind Azerbaijan after fresh fighting erupted on Sept. 27 between Baku's military and Armenian-backed separatists forces in the Nagorno-Karabakh region.

The 44-day conflict ended with Baku regaining control of many cities and villages from Yerevan.

On Nov. 10, the two countries signed a ceasefire agreement brokered by Russia to end the conflict and a joint Russian-Turkish peacekeeping force was deployed to monitor the truce.