The bloody war between Armenia and Azerbaijan may be far from over but Turkey-backed Azerbaijan has been celebrating its victory over Armenia. Recently, Azerbaijan displayed the spoils of war during a military parade to mark the country’s victory against Armenia after a six-week battle over the Nagorno-Karabakh region.
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Military hardware, including tanks and missiles, captured from the Armenian forces were the highlight of the parade, held on December 10. Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan attended the event.
Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Russia had signed a peace deal on November 10 to put an end to the war over Nagorno-Karabakh, which had claimed thousands of lives on both sides.
After 30 years of control over parts of Nagorno-Karabakh and all seven districts around it by Armenian forces, the areas were placed under the jurisdiction of Azerbaijan as part of the peace deal.
Among some 150 pieces of military hardware, including Armenia’s T-72 tank, armored vehicles, short-range and medium-range air defense missiles, self-propelled artillery rocket launchers were put on display.
The military parade held at Baku’s central Azadliq (Liberty) Square was devoted to, as officially described, Azerbaijan’s victory in the ‘Patriotic War’.
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev during his address after the signing of the peace deal had said that Armenia signed the agreement due to Baku’s “iron-fist”. He said the Armenian army in the region had weakened after the liberation of around 300 settlements since September 27.
The enthusiasm to see the captured Armenian military equipment was quite visible when leaders gave a standing ovation as the vehicle leading the spoils of the war came on the field. A military vehicle leading the parade carried a huge board with “Nagorno-Karabakh belongs to Azerbaijan” written on it.
The display board also contained countless Armenian license plates. The move was symbolic as 30 years ago Armenia after capturing the region had used the Azerbaijan license plates to build toilets as a mark of victory.
A similar tactic to humiliate the defeated country was followed by the Soviet Union after defeating Nazi Germany. As many as 200 flag-bearers holding the Nazi flags upside down dragged them on the ground during the military parade at Moscow’s Red Square.
Azerbaijan’s win has also been seen as a geopolitical coup orchestrated by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Turkey has signed a memorandum with Russia to create a joint monitoring center in Azerbaijan.
As Turkey and Azerbaijan claim to be brothers, the same was visible during the military parade where 2,783 Turkish soldiers participated. The number of Turkish soldiers was the same as that of the Azerbaijani troops who lost their lives in the conflict.