Ilham Aliyev: we don’t have mercenaries or Turkish military here
Azerbaijan does not seek help from either mercenaries or Turkish army personnel, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev told France 24 TV channel.
The Azerbaijani leader was asked if he spoke with French President Emmanuel Macron about this issue-him accusing mercenaries are fighting for Azerbaijan.
"Yes, we spoke about that and I was still waiting for evidence. No evidence was presented to me. No evidence was presented to our other officials. I asked the French president to give evidence and to organize contacts between the heads of corresponding state units in order to talk, in order to exchange this information and this contact happened. And I can tell you that no evidence was presented to us. Therefore, if there is no evidence, I think these rumors should also be left back in the history," he said.
"We don’t have mercenaries. This is our official statement. Since the outbreak, already more than two weeks passed, not a single country presented us a single evidence of that. Moreover, we don’t need that. We have an army of more than 100 thousand fighters. And what we are doing now on the ground demonstrate that our army is capable to liberate its lands itself," the head of state stressed.
According to him, France’s foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, who said that there is Turkish military involvement, is wrong. "Turkish military involvement is another fake news. There is no military involvement of Turkey. We are using Turkish military equipment. This is true. But we are using military equipment of Russia, military equipment of Israel, military equipment of other countries. And we buy this military equipment unlike Armenia which gets it free of charge. Turkey is in no way other than political, is present in the process. There are no Turkish forces," Ilham Aliyev noted.
The president noted that Turkish F-16s are in Azerbaijan, but they are left here after the joint military training. Ilham Aliyev recalled that last year Azerbaijan and Turkey had ten joint military trainings with Turkey, including air force. "This year due to pandemic, we had only two and it happened that just after the military training this outbreak happened. So we decided to keep F-16 on the ground and they are on the ground. They are not on the air," AzerTAc cited the head of state as saying.
Answering the question of how many Turkish drones Azerbaijan is deploying, he said that they have enough in order to achieve their targets. Ilham Aliyev said that they are very modern, sophisticated weapons. The Azerbaijani leader explained that only by the drones they acquired from Turkey, they destroyed Armenian military equipment worth $1 billion. "That’s a serious damage for them. I wonder, where did they get so much money to buy all this equipment. Probably, they got them free of charge," Ilham Aliyev said.