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Is Turkey directly involved in the battle between Armenia and Azerbaijan?

The Azerbaijani forces continued their advance in the Karabakh region occupied by Armenia, and took control of strategic sites there, amid the escalation of war between the two countries, while Armenia accused Turkey of direct military intervention in the attacks launched by Azeri forces on it.

The Armenian Foreign Ministry said in a statement that Turkey has “a direct presence on the ground, and military experts from Turkey are fighting side by side with Azerbaijan”, which Yerevan said is also using Turkish weapons, including F-16 fighters and drones. Bayraktar Turkish.

Speed ​​and rigor
The Turkish support for Azerbaijan was characterized by coordination, overtness, speed and severity, as if the attack was a reality on Ankara, and it was addressed by all levels of Turkey in the presidential, ministerial and popular levels. Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar threatened that Armenia “will pay the price for its attacks on the lands of Azerbaijan.”

Turkish F-16 fighter jets during exercises in Azerbaijan (Reuters)

After visits and coordination at the highest military levels, Ismail Demir, head of the Turkish Defense Industries Authority, announced that his sector is ready to help Azerbaijan, adding, “Our defense industry, with all its expertise, technologies and capabilities, from our drones to our ammunition, missiles and electronic warfare systems, is always at the disposal of Azerbaijan.” With the help of modernization of the Azerbaijani army.

And at the end of last July, it seemed that the Turkish state had formulated a way to convert its rhetorical support directed at Azerbaijan to a deterrent force and practical moves, as the two countries held joint maneuvers under the name “Turkish-Azerbaijani Eagle”.

According to the official military data issued by the defense ministries in the two countries, the two armies have trained to clear some strategic areas of virtual enemies, joint fire support on the ground, helicopter landings, and carry out basic air missions such as ground bombing, interception and attack day and night.

The exercises included tests of the readiness of the warplanes of the armies of the two countries, testing the readiness of the forces to implement the orders of the military leadership, and firing from armored vehicles, artillery and mortars at virtual targets of the enemy, as well as exercises with live ammunition that included border areas with Armenia, and the Minister of Defense and senior leaders of the Turkish army participated in its conclusion. And it was considered as a clear message that Turkey is ready to intervene in the event that Armenia continues its attacks, which was considered by the Azerbaijani president as “frightening Armenia.”

But the question that arises: Did the large Turkish forces and military equipment – which participated in the military maneuvers between the Turkish and Azerbaijani armed forces a month ago in Baku – return to Turkey, or did the aim of the exercises were to keep the forces there to prepare for any future confrontation?

For its part, Yerevan rushed to obtain military equipment similar to the one that Baku obtained from Ankara, but from the Middle East, this time from Jordan, and the competition continues.

Readiness of the Turkish army
In this context, Ismail Hakki, the former deputy chief of military intelligence in the Turkish Chief of Staff, mentions that based on the security and military cooperation agreement between Ankara and Baku, the Turkish army sent military advisers to help its Azerbaijani counterpart in its current war against Armenia and also provides training.

Hakki did not deny – in his speech to Al Jazeera Net – that the Azerbaijani army used Turkish weapons, including F-16s and Bayraktar drones, in its current war, but confirmed that Azerbaijan bought them with its money earlier from Turkey.

And stresses that the heavy weapons that the Turkish army used in the joint exercises with its Azerbaijani counterpart, have returned to Turkey after the end of the exercise that took place in Baku.

“Turkey will not participate in the field with its army and soldiers in the ongoing war, unless the Armenian army advances, occupies new areas and threatens Turkish projects there, in coordination with Baku,” said the former deputy chief of military intelligence at the Chief of Staff.

Haqqi added, “Russia does not stand with Armenia in this war, and we have information that it will not intervene on the ground in the foreseeable future.”

Will Turkey hit Armenia?
The Turkish writer close to the government, Ibrahim Karagul, believes that if the game played by Russia, France and the Emirates through Armenia succeeds, the eastern gate of Turkey will be completely closed, so Turkey intervenes to thwart the siege from the east, no matter what the cost.

Karagul told Al-Jazeera Net that the military maneuvers that Turkey carried out with Azerbaijan could turn into a reality when needed, and the Azerbaijani fronts will also be battle fronts for Turkey.

“We are facing a new scenario aimed at weakening Azerbaijan and closing the eastern gates of Turkey,” he added. “Our enemies are testing with these attacks the strength of Turkey and the resistance of Azerbaijan, transportation corridors and oil lines in the Caspian Sea and the southern Caucasus. Therefore, Turkey will never abandon Azerbaijan, as Armenia’s attacks target Turkey in the first place.” The matter is not much different from the attacks they carried out by ISIS and the PKK. “

Karagul asserts, “The defense of Azerbaijan is a defense of Turkey’s soil. This is our identity and our political awareness, and this is our geopolitical mentality and our defense strategies.”

Russia is hesitant
The leader of the ruling Justice Party, Birol Demir, states that Armenia needs Moscow in light of the historical hostility between it and Turkey, but Russia is hesitant to increase rapprochement with it, despite the conclusion of a long alliance that includes the survival of the Russian military base on its territory until 2044. According to the agency “Sputnik” (Sputnik) Russian, Moscow has a military base in Armenia that includes about 5 thousand soldiers.

In his speech to Al-Jazeera Net, Demir considers that the renewal of the engagement is a Russian message to annoy Ankara and an attempt to confuse it on more than one regional front, explaining that for this the Turkish response was clear not only by standing by Azerbaijan, but by accelerating it by coordinating visits and positions at the level of military leaders.

He notes Russia’s use of ethnic conflicts in the South Caucasus region for its own benefit, and its strategy is to prevent the conflicts from exploding, but they want to keep them tense so that neither Azerbaijan nor Armenia feel strong enough to feel independence.

Demir points out that the presence of the Russian military base made the Armenians feel Russian support in exchange for the Azeris’ feeling that Turkey is with them, as Ankara has a military base in Azerbaijan and historically stands with Baku against Yerevan.

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