Turkey’s Defense Minister Personally Oversaw Attack Against Artsakh, Russian Newspaper Reports

Screen Shot 2020-10-16 atfeature
Turkish forces stationed in Azerbaijan (Kommersant Photo)

Turkish forces stationed in Azerbaijan (Kommersant Photo)

Diplomatic and military sources of the Russian Kommersant newspaper have said that Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar personally controlled Azerbaijan’s attacks on Artsakh from September 28 to 30.

Armenpress reported on Friday that the newspaper published an extended article presenting in detail Turkey’s military-technical support to Azerbaijan in its war against Artsakh.

The military operations were pre-planned and provoked by the military-political leadership of Turkey, reported Kommersant. According to its sources, during recent months Ankara intensively provoked Baku to launch military operations, promising multilateral political and diplomatic, intelligence and military-technical support.

‘’Following the Turkish-Azerbaijani joint military exercises July and August, a large number of Turkish military hardware have remained in the territory of Azerbaijan with the goal to coordinate and lead the offensive operations against Nagorno Karabakh,” reported the Russian newspaper.
The Kommersant’s sources confirmed that about 600 Turkish servicemen, including a tactical unit of 200 soldiers and 50 commanders were stationed in Nakhichevan. Some 90 military advisers were assigned in Baku, while a 120-member flight-tactical team was stationed at the Gabala air base, as well as 20 drone operators at Dollyar airport, 50 commanders at Yevlakh airport, 50 commanders in the 4th Army Corps and 20 people at the Naval Base and the Military Institute of Baku.

During the fiercest moments of the military operations, from September 28 to 30, Turkey’s Defense Minister Hulusi Akar and Commander of the Turkish Ground Forces General Ümit Dündar arrived in Azerbaijan. Sources told Kommersant that they carried out the general command operations on the Karabakh front.

The newspaper also reported that on October 9, 200 machine guns and ammunition were delivered via the Amman-Baku flight to Azerbaijan using Georgia as a transit hub. Earlier, Turkey had applied to use Georgian air space for transit flights on October 14, 21 and 28. The sources of the newspaper inform that permits were given for all the flights.

“Turkey’s representatives recruit mercenaries from Ankara-backed Islamism groups fighting in in Syria and Libya, who will fight in Nagorno Karabakh conflict from the Azerbaijani side. Their transportation is carried out with the support of the Turkish Defense Ministry. During the first week of October, up to 1,300 Syrian militants and at least 150 Libyan mercenaries have been transported to Nagorno Karabakh conflict zone. The mercenaries have been promised up to $2000 monthly salary. The first group of the mercenaries had been sent to Azerbaijan on September 22, who passed a two-week training in Syria with a Turkish commander. They are members of Faylaq al-Sham, Sultan Murad Division, and Firqat al-Hamza groups,” reported the Kommersant, according a translation by Armenpress.

The newspaper reported that from September to October, Turkey also transported a great amount of military equipment and ammunition to Azerbaijan.

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