BAKU, Azerbaijan

Operations of the Azerbaijani army to liberate territories occupied for nearly 30 years by Armenian forces continue, the country’s Defense Ministry said on Saturday.

“During the day on October 23 and on the night of October 24, the combat operations continued with varying intensity in the Aghdere, Khojavend, Fizuli, Hadrut, and Gubadli directions,” the ministry said in a statement.

Units of the Azerbaijani military continued combat operations in certain directions of the front, the statement added.

“Armenian armed forces units, which could not resist in the Khojavend, Fizuli, and Gubadli directions of the front, have been inflicted by the fire strike,” the statement added.

In the operations, Azerbaijani forces “disabled” weapons, ammunition and fuel depots of the Armenian side, some of which, withdrew from their positions in a disorderly fashion and retreated, according to the statement.

“The main communications were taken under control, several enemy strongholds were destroyed and important high grounds were liberated. Currently, combat operations are being continued along the entire length of the front. Our troops control the operational situation,” the statement added.

Upper Karabakh conflict

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

Four UN Security Council resolutions and two from the UN General Assembly, as well as international organizations, demand the “immediate complete and unconditional withdrawal of the occupying forces” from occupied Azerbaijani 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 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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