In the early morning of September 27, large-scale fighting broke out on the border between Artsakh and Azerbaijan. While Azerbaijan claims to have launched a counterattack, a number of facts indicate that Azerbaijan and Turkey had been planning military operations for a long time.
Given that a large-scale attack (or counterattack) requires lengthy preparatory work and cannot be conducted in one day (as official Baku claims), the Fact Investigation Platform hereby provides information on Azerbaijan’s preparations for the military actions.
Collection of civilian vehicles for military use
Since September 21, the Azerbaijani authorities had been confiscating cars belonging to the civilian population, mainly pick-up trucks, and stationing them in the areas belonging to the traffic police.
The traffic police of Azerbaijan confirmed the confiscation of these vehicles, justifying it by the need for a technical inspection. According to the official interpretation, the pickup trucks and other special-purpose vehicles can be presented for the needs of the armed forces and special forces in accordance with the “Rules for Registration of Military Vehicles” and are subject to technical inspection.
Unannounced mobilizations were taking place
On September 24, BBC Russian Service reported that a sudden mobilization of reservists had begun in Azerbaijan. The demobilized servicemen were called to military commissariats and immediately sent to military exercises. No martial law or general mobilization had been declared at the time. The media outlet also reported that the reservists were not informed in advance where they were being taken. The BBC reported the story of an Azerbaijani citizen who was simply summoned to a military registration office and then taken to a military exercise for two months without prior warning. Moreover, referring to the State Service for Mobilization and Conscription of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the media outlet also reported that the mobilization of military reserves has begun in the country. Later, the State Service for Mobilization and Conscription of Azerbaijan told the Azerbaijani media that this was a normal process that took place regularly.
Turkish air force was supplying military equipment to Azerbaijan
Turkey’s “support” in preparing for the war was significant. In the last few days the Fact Investigation Platform noticed an unusual activation of flights between Turkey, Azerbaijan and Israel, the main supplier of military equipment to these countries. There were rumors circulating on the Internet that Syrian mercenaries were being transferred to Azerbaijan.
Turkish journalists on the front line
Shortly after the fights began early this morning, some of the Turkish media outlets, such as the Turkish state television channel TRT and Anadolu Agency, were surprisingly already on the front line, providing live broadcast.
In conclusion, we can state that before launching the attack, the Azerbaijani authorities had been actively and openly preparing for the start of hostilities. Moreover, it was done with the support of Turkey.