Turkey, Azerbaijan to Hold Military Drills in Kars Next Month

Soldiers of the Turkish and Azerbaijani armed forces already gathered in Kars on Jan. 17
Soldiers of the Turkish and Azerbaijani armed forces already gathered in Kars on Jan. 17

Soldiers of the Turkish and Azerbaijani armed forces already gathered in Kars on Jan. 17

Turkey announced Sunday that its armed forces will hold joint military exercises with Azerbaijani soldiers early next month in Kars that borders Armenia, Daily Sabah reported.

The Turkish military said in a statement on Sunday that the Turkish armed forces are preparing for the most “comprehensive winter drill” in recent years.

During the drill domestically-produced weapons and equipment will be tested. Tank divisions, heavy artillery operators, sniper teams, personnel of the special forces command, helicopters and commandos will participate in the drill, which will take place between February 1 to 12.

The Daily Sabah reported, citing the military report that the drill will mostly focus on operational capabilities during the harsh weather conditions of winter months, including practices of sheltering, reinforcement, maintenance and educational development.

Ground and air assaults, airdrops, airborne operations and logistic support will be practiced by both militaries.

Turkey and Azerbaijan held joint military exercises last summer after Azerbaijani forces brazenly attacked military and civilian targets in Armenia’s Tavush Province.

After the drills ended on August 10, the Turkish armed forces left much of their equipment and some of their personnel in Azerbaijan in what became a prelude to the September 27 Karabakh war launched by Azerbaijan and backed by Turkish, which also deployed Islamic jihadists to fight alongside Azerbaijani troops.

A day after the leaders of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia signed the now infamous November 9 agreement that ended military actions in Karabakh, Turkey and Russia signed a military agreement, which called for the establishment of a joint ceasefire monitoring station in Azerbaijan.

This year began with Ankara deploying its forces and high-level military personnel to Azerbaijan to man the Turkish-Russian peacekeeping center, which according to Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, will be headquartered in Aghdam, one of the several territories surrendered to Azerbaijan as a result of the November 9 agreement.

One has to wonder what the consequences of the upcoming drills will be for Armenia.

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