Turkish troops in Azerbaijan for joint military drills

Turkish troops are in Azerbaijan for a training exercise with the Azerbaijani military, Reuters reported.

The new drills began on Monday and have already seen the deployment of drones, helicopters, and tanks, Reuters said, citing Russia’s RIA news agency, which was informed about the exercise from Azerbaijan’s defence ministry. 

Turkey and Azerbaijan regularly carry out joint military drills and training exercises. Four warplanes belonging to the Azerbaijani air force are presently in Turkey, participating in the Anatolian Eagle 2021 exercise. Azerbaijani troops also travelled to Turkey last week, where they are attending a commando training course. 

Last summer, Turkish air and ground forces participated in the TurAz Eagle exercise with the Azerbaijani military. That exercise included air drills with fighter jets and helicopters over various parts of Azerbaijan. 

After TurAz’s conclusion on Aug. 10, 2020, Turkish Air Force F-16 fighter-bombers remained in Azerbaijan’s Ganja International Airport, even after the outbreak of the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh war between Azerbaijan and Armenia on Sep. 27. 

During that war, which lasted until Nov. 10, Azerbaijan seized large parts of the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region from Armenia.

Azerbaijan used Turkish-built armed drones against Armenian forces. In the months leading up to the war, Turkish arms sales to Azerbaijan surged.

On June 15, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Azerbaijani counterpart Ilham Aliyev signed the Shusha Agreement on Allied Relations during a visit to the eponymous city, which Armenians call Shushi, in Nagorno-Karabakh captured by Azerbaijan during last year’s war. 

As part of the agreement, both countries pledged to increase military cooperation between them further, possibly even to include the joint production of drones in Azerbaijan.

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