MOSCOW, September 29. /TASS/. High-ranking Turkish army officers are currently staying in Azerbaijan and are taking part in commanding Azerbaijani units in the conflict zone, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said on Tuesday.
"Turkey is actually involved in this process. We have reliable information that military instructors and high-ranking officers are at Azerbaijan’s command centers and are having a leading hand in military operations," he said in an interview with the 60 Minutes program on the Rossiya-1 television channel.
Apart from that, he said that Turkish army units are already present in the Nakhichevan autonomous republic, an Azerbaijani exclave bordering Turkey. "According to our information, Turkey is itching for an excuse to expand its involvement in the conflict and, according to our information, they are looking for a reason to deploy their troops in Nakhichevan. We have information that some units of the Turkish army are already present there," he said.
The situation in Nagorno-Karabakh escalated on September 27, when Azerbaijan said its positions had come under extensive fire from Armenia. Armenia, in turn, said the Azerbaijani army had staged an offensive in the direction of Nagorno-Karabakh. Both sides report casualties, including among civilians. Both Armenia and Azerbaijan have imposed martial law and announced mobilization. Fierce fighting continues. Baku said it had taken control of a number of Karabakh villages and strategic heights. Yerevan reports shelling attacks against its territories.
The conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the highland region of Nagorno-Karabakh, a disputed territory that had been part of Azerbaijan before the Soviet Union break-up, but primarily populated by ethnic Armenians, broke out in February 1988 after the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region announced its withdrawal from the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic. In 1992-1994, tensions boiled over and exploded into large-scale military action for control over the enclave and seven adjacent territories after Azerbaijan lost control of them. Talks on the Nagorno-Karabakh settlement have been ongoing since 1992 under the OSCE Minsk Group, led by its three co-chairs - Russia, France and the United States.