BEIRUT, LEBANON (8:30 P.M.) – Azerbaijan announced on Thursday that 2,783 of its soldiers have been killed in the confrontations against the Armenian forces in the Karabakh region.
“2,783 soldiers of the Azerbaijani armed forces were killed in the national war,” the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry said in a statement.
They added that more than 100 soldiers were still missing in the confrontations that started between the two sides at the end of September.
The Azerbaijani government had not previously declared its military losses in the war, which concluded with the declaration of a ceasefire that ended several weeks of fighting in early November.
Azerbaijan’s announcement of its losses comes in the wake of the announcement by the Turkish Defense Minister, Hulusi Akar, that the Turkish army will soon begin joint work with Russian forces to monitor the ceasefire agreement in the Karabakh region.
The declaration of the ceasefire stipulates that the Armenian and Azerbaijani forces will stop at their current positions, and the Russian peacekeepers will be deployed along the line of contact in Karabakh and the corridor connecting the Armenian lands and Karabakh.
The agreement also includes lifting restrictions on movement, transit and the exchange of prisoners between the two parties to the conflict, and the return of the displaced to Karabakh, under the auspices of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
The roots of the Karabakh conflict can be traced back to February of 1988, when the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous District declared its secession from the Azerbaijan SSR.
In the context of the armed confrontation that took place between 1992 and 1994, Azerbaijan lost its control over Nagorny Karabakh and other adjacent areas.