The Azerbaijani army has liberated several more settlements from Armenian occupation, Azerbaijan’s president announced on Friday.
In a public address, Ilham Aliyev said the settlement of Hadrut north of Ceyrayil city, as well as several villages including Chayli, Yukhari Guzlak, Gorazilli, Gishlag, Garajalli, Afandilar, Suleymanli and Sur, had rejoined with the rest of Azerbaijan's territory in a "historic victory."
With the liberation of Hadrut, the province of Fuzuli was surrounded and a narrow corridor was left for the people there to leave, said Aliyev.
"We'll take our lands. We want to get them in a peaceful way," he said.
He also warned that the Armenian side would regret it if they "cheat" following a trilateral consultative meeting in Moscow between the foreign ministers of Russia, Azerbaijan and Armenia over the conflict in Upper Karabakh.
"We're giving Armenia one last chance. They shouldn't put their trust in anyone."
‘Advantage on the battlefield’
The Azerbaijani army has a “complete advantage on the battlefield” today in terms of logistics and combat readiness, Aliyev said.
He said a large number of Armenian military equipment was destroyed and seized in battles, with Armenian forces suffering a “major blow” since tensions escalated nearly two weeks ago.
“I must also say that there is not a single piece of military equipment belonging to the Azerbaijani Armed Forces in the hands of the enemy,” he said.
He said the Azerbaijani flag was flying high over the liberated lands while “the enemy is in panic … [and] hysterical.”
Aliyev added that the Azerbaijani military is proving its “superiority” and operating with high morale and spirits because it is fighting on its own land and liberating its own territories.
“Today, Azerbaijani soldiers are guarding the trenches dug by Armenians in our occupied lands – we are in their trenches, not them in ours, we are in their posts, we are in their tanks,” said the president.
He said the Azerbaijani army was using the military equipment seized from Armenians, as well as 18 tanks that they abandoned while fleeing battle, against them.
Aliyev said the Armenian leadership, particularly Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, is at a complete loss and resorting to lies and deception.
“He [Pashinyan] calls up heads of state and governments of different countries repeatedly, asking for help, begging for help, imploring them [for help] several times a day. He is at their feet. He humiliates himself – [asking them to] come and rescue us,” he said.
The president said the only way out for the Armenian leadership is to leave the occupied Azerbaijani territories.
“The enemy tells tales and lies to his people. They make up facts; they want to deceive their own people and the international community, saying that they are attacking us, and that they have taken back some of our positions. This is a lie,” Aliyev asserted.
Upper Karabakh conflict
The fighting began on Sept. 27, when Armenian forces targeted civilian Azerbaijani settlements and military positions in the region, leading to casualties.
Relations between the two ex-Soviet republics have been tense since 1991, when the Armenian military occupied Upper Karabakh, or Nagorno-Karabakh, an internationally recognized territory of Azerbaijan.
Multiple UN resolutions, as well as many international organizations, demand the withdrawal of the invading forces.
The OSCE Minsk Group -- co-chaired by France, Russia, and the US -- was formed in 1992 to find a peaceful solution to the conflict, but to no avail. A cease-fire, however, was agreed upon in 1994.
Many world powers, including Russia, France and the US, have urged an immediate cease-fire.
Turkey, meanwhile, has supported Baku's right to self-defense and demanded the withdrawal of Armenia's occupying forces.Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.