Defense chiefs of Turkey and Azerbaijan discussed the latest developments after the Armenian attack on Azerbaijan, according to Turkey’s National Defense Ministry on Sunday.

“Turkey will always stand by Azerbaijani Turks by all means in their struggle to protect their territorial integrity,” Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar told Zakir Hasanov during a phone conversation.

Akar condemned the Armenian attacks on civilian settlements and wished God’s mercy upon the martyred.

Border clashes broke out earlier in the day after Armenian forces targeted Azerbaijani civilian settlements and military positions. The number of casualties is not yet known.

Earlier in July, Armenian cease-fire violations martyred 12 Azerbaijani troops and wounded four others.

Relations between the two former Soviet nations have been tense since 1991 when Armenian military illegally occupied the Upper Karabakh, or 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 this fact and demand the withdrawal of the occupational Armenian forces from Upper Karabakh and seven other occupied regions of Azerbaijan. 

* Writing by Gozde Bayar

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