Turkey and Azerbaijan kicked off what they are calling “Winter 2021” joint military drills in Kars, bordering Armenia.
The exercises that began on Monday will run through February 12, and according to the Turkish Defense Ministry, they are intended to ensure combat coordination and capabilities under winter conditions.
Reportedly, Moscow is closely following the military drills with some pro-government Russian media outlets expressing concerns about the drills being held so close to Armenia’s border.
On Saturday, a joint Russian and Turkish ceasefire monitoring station opened in Aghdam, with leaders from Azerbaijan, Turkey and Russia in attendance for its inauguration.
The Turkish Defense Ministry posted a video on Twitter showing two combat helicopters saluting the Turkish flag above Kars.
Turkey and Azerbaijan held similar military drills in the summer in Azerbaijan. At the time Turkey left behind some of its prized military equipment, including Bayrakdar drone, which were late used to attack Artsakh positions by Azerbaijan.