Azerbaijan’s armed forces have so far liberated 22 settlements from the Armenian occupation amid ongoing border clashes in Upper Karabakh, the Turkish Defense Ministry said Monday.

Fighting began on Sept. 27 when the Armenian forces targeted civilian Azerbaijani settlements and military positions in the region, leading to casualties.

“According to information from reliable Azerbaijani sources, a total of 22 settlements have been liberated from occupation so far in the operation launched by Azerbaijani Armed Forces to reclaim occupied territories,” the ministry said.

Meanwhile, the Armenian forces have launched missile attacks on Azerbaijani cities of Beylagan, Barda and Tartar, the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry said.

Upper Karabakh conflict 

Relations between the two former Soviet republics have been tense since 1991, when the Armenian military occupied Upper 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.

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