ISTANBUL

Amid the continuing fighting in Karabakh, a new batch of humanitarian aid for Azerbaijan will leave from Istanbul on Thursday, the Turkish Red Crescent said on Wednesday.

Eleven truckloads of supplies include winter clothing, blankets, items of personal hygiene, cleaning materials as well as disinfectants, assistant director Ismail Hakki Turunc said.

He informed that the organization is working in 140 countries, and thanked those who responded to donation calls.

Relations between the two former Soviet republics have been tense since 1991 when the Armenian military occupied Upper Karabakh, or Nagorno-Karabakh, an internationally recognized territory of Azerbaijan.

New clashes erupted on Sept. 27, and since then Armenia has repeatedly attacked Azerbaijani civilians and forces, even violating three humanitarian cease-fires since Oct. 10.

Multiple UN resolutions demand the withdrawal of the occupying forces.

While world powers have called for a lasting cease-fire, Turkey has supported Baku’s right to self-defense.

*Writing by Ahmet Gencturk in Ankara

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