The Azerbaijani army has liberated 20 more villages and a settlement from Armenian occupation, Azerbaijan's president announced on Thursday.
“Azerbaijan’s glorious Army has liberated Mollaveli, Yuxari Refiddinli and Ashagi Refiddinli villages of Fuzuli district and Sirik, Shikhlar, Mestelibeyli and Derzili villages of Jabrayil district. Long live Azerbaijan’s Army! Karabakh is Azerbaijan!” Ilham Aliyev said on Twitter.
In another Twitter post, Aliyev said the army has also liberated Kollugishlag, Malatkeshin, Kend Zengilan, Genlik, Veligulubeyli, Garadere, Chopedere, Tatar, Tiri, Emirkhanli, Gargulu, Bartaz and Dellekli villages, and Agbend settlement of Zengilan.
“The state border between Azerbaijan and Iran has been completely secured through liberation of the Agbend settlement,” he added.
Upper Karabakh conflict
Relations between the ex-Soviet republics of Azerbaijan and Armenia have been tense since 1991, when the Armenian military occupied Upper Karabakh, also known as Nagorno-Karabakh.
Fresh clashes erupted on Sept. 27, and the Armenian army has since continued its attacks on civilians and Azerbaijani forces, even violating humanitarian cease-fire agreements.
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 the Azerbaijani territory.
In total, about 20% of Azerbaijan's territory – including Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent regions – has been under Armenia's illegal 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 sustainable new cease-fire. Turkey, meanwhile, has supported Baku's right to self-defense and demanded the withdrawal of Armenia's occupying forces.