BAKU, Azerbaijan

Despite living with the sights, sounds, and danger of attacks from the Armenian army, Azerbaijanis living in villages along the border with Armenia are not going anywhere.

For nearly a week now Armenian forces’ attacks on Azerbaijan have aimed at seizing strategic heights along the border and targeted not only soldiers but also civilians.

Many houses in the region have become unusable after attacks by artillery and mortar on the border villages of Azerbaijan’s Tovuz province, but local civilians have not fled.

The Azizovs are one of the families living within earshot of gunfire.

They lost their uncle Aziz Azizov, 76, when he was targeted by artillery fire.

‘Here I was born and here I will die’

Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Turane Aliyeva said they aren’t afraid of Armenians and will never leave their lands.

“You hear the sound of gunfire. I’m in my house and we don’t go anywhere. I was born here, and I’ll die here,” she said.

Besti Mesimova, a nearby relative of the Azizovs, said Turkey’s support in the face of the Armenian attacks filled them with pride.

“We will never leave our village or flee,” he said.

Last Sunday, the Armenian army attempted to attack Azerbaijani positions with artillery fire towards the northwestern Tovuz border district, withdrawing after suffering losses following retaliation from the Azerbaijani military.

Azerbaijan has blamed Armenia for the “provocative” actions, with Turkey supporting Baku and warning Yerevan that it will not hesitate to stand against any attack on its eastern neighbor.

Since 1991 the Armenian military has illegally occupied the Upper Karabakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) region, an internationally recognized territory of Azerbaijan.

Four UN Security Council and two UN General Assembly resolutions, as well as decisions by many international organizations, refer to the illegal occupation and demand the withdrawal of Armenian forces from Upper Karabakh and seven other occupied regions of Azerbaijan.

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