Turkey, Azerbaijan hold joint military drills next to Armenian border

Turkey and Azerbaijan are holding joint military exercises this week in Turkey’s eastern province of Kars, bordering Armenia.

The Turkish Defence Ministry posted a video on its Twitter account displaying two combat helicopters hovering around a Turkish flag flying above the castle of Kars city.

The military drills, set to last until Feb.12, will enhance cooperation and coordination of joint operations and assess the capabilities of Turkish and Azeri units’ in harsh winter conditions, the state-run Anadolu reported two weeks ago.

Turkey and Azerbaijan held joint military exercises in the Azeri capital of Bakü and in the country’s Nakhchivan region in August. It preceded an armed conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh, which began in September. A Russia-brokered truce in November ended the fighting.

A joint Russian-Turkish ceasefire monitoring station has begun operating in Aghdam in Nagorno-Karabakh, the Turkish Defence Ministry announced on Saturday. Aghdam was handed over to Azerbaijan by Armenia on Nov.20 as a condition of the truce.