The defense minister of Azerbaijan, Colonel General Zakir Hasanov, who has recently touted his nation’s partnership with NATO, spoke at a meeting attended by what an Azerbaijani news report said were deputy defense ministers, commanders of military services, chiefs of the main directorates, directorates and services of the ministry. The meeting occurred at what was identified as a Command Center (or Central Command Post).
Eight months after the conclusion of the war against defenseless Nagorno-Karabakh waged under his command, Hasanov leveled a new accusation against Armenia, which he has been itching to attack since Azerbaijan moved 1,000 troops into the Armenian provinces of Syunik and Gegharkunik in May, where they remain.
He also spoke with military commanders stationed in land conquered fron Nagorno-Karabakh in last year’s Turkish-backed war in a video conference. Trend News Agency described the latter as follows: “Commanders of military formations and formations stationed in the liberated territories [the territories liberated by Azerbaijan from Armenian occupation in the 2020 Karabakh war] and other officials were involved in the meeting through video communication.”
In short the defense chief held a war council.
The sadly misnamed defense minister then made patently evident his nation’s war plans in recalling to the upper echelons of Azerbaijan’s military and defense establishments that President Ilham Aliyev – the Victorious Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces (as he is routinely referred to) – recently threatened that “the war is over, but despite this, we are ready and must be ready for war at any moment.”
Hasanov also urged his nation’s army to be vigilant in its combat readiness. In addition he provided instructions to his top commanders to “suppress provocations” by Armenia, which neither can nor dares contemplate such actions given the transparently bellicose, one wants to say bloodthirsty, words and actions of the regime in Baku and its proven willingness to deliver on threats.
He also issued instructions for combat preparations, the intent of which is undeniable: a new armed assault on Nagorno-Karabakh and Armenia (with Russia and the Collective Security Treaty Organization remaining at least passively complicit).
Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev will be in Moscow on July 20 to meet with President Vladimir Putin.