BAKU

Azerbaijan has shot down five more Armenian unmanned aerial vehicle (UAVs), the country’s Defense Ministry announced on Friday.

Two Armenian UAVs were destroyed by air defense units and two more were “downed by means of special equipment” between 3 a.m. [2300GMT] and 9 a.m. [0500GMT], the ministry said in a statement.

A fifth UAV “which attempted to fly in the direction of Aghjabedi region” was taken down at 12 p.m. [0800GMT], read a separate statement.

Azerbaijani forces have shot down seven Armenian drones since Tuesday, according to the Defense Ministry.

Territorial gains

Combat operations continued with varying intensity throughout Thursday and in the night, the ministry said in another statement.

“Heavy strikes were inflicted on the armed forces of Armenia in the Fuzuli, Jabrayil, and Gubadli directions of the front, several enemy strongholds were destroyed, important territories and high grounds were liberated,” it said.

“The main resources and military infrastructure of the enemy along the entire front were irreparably damaged.”

According to the Azerbaijani authority, Armenian units are now running low on military equipment, weapons, ammunition, and even food.

“Due to the lack of regular army units to defend combat positions, civilians are forcibly brought in to replace them,” read the statement.

Servicemen brought from the Tavush and Sisian regions of Armenia to Nagorno-Karabakh refused to get engaged in battles and left their positions, it added.

Upper Karabakh conflict

Since clashes erupted on Sept. 27, Armenia has repeatedly attacked Azerbaijani civilians and forces, even violating two humanitarian cease-fires in the past two weeks.

The latest humanitarian truce in in Upper Karabakh, or Nagorno-Karabakh, an internationally recognized territory of Azerbaijan, came into force last Saturday.

Four UN Security Council resolutions and two from the UN General Assembly, as well as international organizations, demand the withdrawal of Armenian forces from the occupied territory.

In total, about 20% of Azerbaijan’s territory – including Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent regions – has been under illegal Armenian occupation for nearly three decades.

The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (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.

World powers, including Russia, France, and the US, have called for a new and lasting 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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