The exercises” Three Brothers-2021″ began in Azerbaijan with the participation of special forces from Turkey and Pakistan. At the current stage of the exercises, the methods of landing and redeploying special forces units by helicopters have already been worked out. Gazeta.Ru examined the purpose of the exercise and what are the risks of a new conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh in this regard.
According to the official statement of the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry, the task of the exercises is “to further strengthen the existing ties between the three armies and help them find new ways to combat terrorism in the region.”
Lieutenant General Hikmat Mirzoyev, commander of Azerbaijan’s special forces, said at the opening ceremony of the exercise that cooperation between the three countries is at the “highest level” and that important measures are being taken to further strengthen relations to ensure the security of the region.
According to Gevorg Mirzaryan, Associate Professor of the Department of Mass Communications of the Financial University under the Government of Russia, any exercises are designed not only for military training itself, but also for a certain international political message.
“In this case, these exercises underline the close relations that have developed between Pakistan, Turkey and Azerbaijan. The states show us that they have formed an almost Islamic triumvirate, which will solve joint problems in the region. This is a demonstration of strength,” said the expert.
At the same time, Mirzaryan noted that until the expiration of the work of the Russian troops on the Karabakh border, there will be no military actions and “this should be well understood in Yerevan.”
“There will be no war until the expiration of the term of work of the Russian peacekeepers. Nobody wants to fight Russia. After the expiration of the term of the mandate, if Baku can refuse the conditions for maintaining peace and if Russia leaves, then Azerbaijan will simply finish off Karabakh,” the expert said.
Alexander Khramchikhin, deputy director of the Institute for Political and Military Analysis, also believes that “after the departure of the Russian peacekeepers, war is practically inevitable.”
“As long as Russian troops are in the rest of Karabakh, nothing will happen there. But since a small part of Karabakh remains, which belongs to Armenia, the issue has not been resolved. Azerbaijan will definitely want to sort it out completely. In any case, there will be a conflict. As the beginning of the 2020 war was obvious, so is the beginning of a new clash. Azerbaijan won, but not completely,” he said.
Director of the Center for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies (CAST) Ruslan Pukhov, on the contrary, believes that Azerbaijan is not interested in the idea of continuing the military conflict in Karabakh.
“Why is there any war for Azerbaijan, which has already won everything a year ago? And any exercises pose a threat to neighbors. Military operations can be carried out under their guise. Azerbaijan carries out exercises on its national territories: this is their inalienable right – wherever they want, they carry it out there,” Pukhov said.
According to Igor Korotchenko, a member of the Public Council under the RF Ministry of Defense, the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh is “frozen”.
“Azerbaijan won in the second Karabakh war. Armenia was defeated and capitulated. This means one thing – Azerbaijan is training and increasing its military potential. Takes up combat experience. And the special forces are able to pass it on. Turkey fought in the Middle East and North Africa,” Korotchenko said.
In turn, a researcher at IMEMO RAN, Turkologist Viktor Nadein-Raevsky claims that the teachings are an indicator of the growing influence of Turkey, which is spreading this influence “from Libya to India.” The expert believes that it was Turkey, in fact, that won the war in Karabakh in 2020, and now demonstrates that in the next round it can easily involve even Pakistan.
“Azerbaijani special forces were trained together with Turkey and Pakistan. I mean the Yashma special forces, which played a decisive role in the capture of Shushi. Even Turkey and Pakistan were present at the parade in honor of the Azerbaijani army,” the expert noted.
“The Azerbaijani army is commanded by Turkish generals. During the war in Karabakh, the drones were also commanded by a Turkish general. Azerbaijanis were pushed aside, – said Nadein-Raevsky. – These are all steps towards the implementation of Ankara’s ambitious project – the creation of a huge state entity, a kind of “Great Turan”. The conflict in Karabakh was another step towards the implementation of this project”.