Azerbaijani forces continue to make advances along the front line against Armenian troops, the country’s Defense Ministry said Saturday.

“The Troops of the Azerbaijan Army retain their operational superiority, inflicting damage on the enemy with precise fire along the entire front line,” said a written statement.

Saying that the operational situation in the Aghdere-Aghdam and Fuzuli-Hadrut-Jabrayil directions of the front “remained tense” Friday and early Saturday, the ministry said the Azerbaijani Armed Forces took “advantageous” frontiers, high ground, and positions in important directions.

“Our troops managed to break through the pre-set line of defense of the enemy in different directions and to move forward, driving the enemy out of their positions, and forcing him to flee,” the statement added.

It also underlined that based on intelligence, the 1st battalion of the 5th mountain rifle regiment of the Armenian army retreated, “leaving its positions and a large number of killed and wounded behind.”

“As a result of actions taken by the Azerbaijan Army during the day, a large number of military personnel, 7 T-72 tanks, 2 BM-21 Grad MLRS, 8 D-30, and 1 D-20 gun-howitzers, 10 units of trucks with ammunition, and 7 units of other vehicles were destroyed and disabled in different directions of the front.”

The statement stressed that up to 300 Armenian reservists retreated, fleeing their positions on the defense line of the 1st motorized rifle regiment.

“Among the reservists, there are also many killed and wounded. The members of the special police detachment, attached to the regiment as an augmentation force, also left their combat positions and fled. There is a shortage of food and ammunition in the units of the regiment,” it said.

“In enemy units, there were cases of disobedience of military personnel to officers due to a feeling of fatigue and hopelessness, as well as refusal to participate in the fighting due to fear and panic.”

Upper Karabakh conflict

Relations between the two former Soviet republics have been tense since 1991 when the Armenian military occupied Upper Karabakh, or Nagorno-Karabakh, an internationally recognized territory of Azerbaijan.

Some 20% of Azerbaijan’s territory has remained under illegal Armenian occupation for nearly three decades.

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 to in 1994.

Multiple UN resolutions, as well as international organizations, demand the withdrawal of the occupying forces.

World powers, including Russia, France, and the US, have urged a new cease-fire. Turkey, meanwhile, has supported Baku’s right to self-defense and demanded the withdrawal of Armenia’s occupying forces.

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