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The Turkish military continues to demonstrate its non-involvement in the war with Armenia in the Nagorno-Karabakh region. On November 4, the heroic defense ministry of Turkey announced that Azerbaijani forces had shot down one more Armenian Su-25 warplane in the conflict zone. Thus, the claimed number of downed Armenian warplanes has reached seven. The only issue is that Azerbaijan itself did not claim such an incident, when the Turkish defense ministry made its statement. So, it seems that Ankara knows much more than do the Azerbaijani forces themselves, who are allegedly alone in their fight against the mighty Armenian aggressors.
Meanwhile, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev undertook another Twitter advance announcing the capture of the villages of Mirak and Kavdar in the Jabrayil district, Mashadiismayilli and Shafibayli in the Zangilan district, and Basharat, Garakishilar and Garajalli in the Gubadli district. The Azerbaijani military also reported clashes in the district of Adhere. In the last 48 hours, according to Azerbaijan, Armenian forces suffered multiple casualties and lost over two dozen equipment pieces.
Fortified positions and settlements controlled by Armenian forces in the central and northern parts of Nagorno-Karabakh are regularly being targeted with air and artillery strikes by Azerbaijani forces. The most intense strikes hit the areas of Shusha and the Lachin corridor.
Armenian officials kept apace with their Azerbaijani counterparts and also made several victorious statements. For example, on November 4, Armenian forces allegedly eliminated a large group of Azerbaijani soldiers in an operation code-named “Gyorbagyor.” The troops were amassing south of the town of Shusha, when they were detected by an Armenian drone and were targeted by artillery. Dozens were reportedly injured or killed.
In another development, the Armenians allegedly eliminated an Azerbaijani sabotage group operating on the road between Shusha and Lachin. Despite this statement, as of November 5, the road remains closed to civilian traffic. This means that the situation there is more complicated than Yerevan wants to admit. This highlights the unresolved crisis. If Armenian forces fail to push the Azerbaijani units away from the road and to restore free communication along it, the position of the forces defending Shusha will seriously worsen.
In the coming weeks, Azerbaijani forces supported by Syrian militants and Turkish special forces, who allegedly are not participating in the conflict, will continue attempts to cut off the Shusha-Lachin road, and to capture Martuni and Shushi. The Lachin area itself, due to its close proximity to the state border of Armenia, is the more complicated and protected target. Thus, the focus of clashes will likely remain on the center of Nagorno-Karabakh.
If the Turkish Defense Ministry does not forget to inform Baku about military developments on the ground in a timely manner, Azerbaijan still has a significant chance of developing its initial success in the south of Nagorno-Karabakh and making even more gains before the start of winter, which, given the mountainous terrain, will reduce the intensity of the clashes.