Turkey sends helicopters to Azerbaijan for military drills

Turkey sent helicopters to Azerbaijan for joint military drills as tensions with Armenia remain high, Anadolu news agency reported on Tuesday.

Helicopters were taken by Turkish air force planes to Nakhchivan, Azerbaijan and they were welcomed with a military ceremony, according to a statement by the Azerbaijani Defence Ministry, cited by Anadolu.

Military exercises to be held in Baku and Nakhchivan between Aug. 1 and Aug. 5 will include mortars, armed vehicles, and artillery. 

The air forces of both countries will start exercises on July 29 to end on Aug. 10.

The military exercises are coming after clashes earlier this month between Armenian and Azerbaijani troops in the northwestern Tovuz border region.

Anadolu said 12 Azerbaijani soldiers were killed in the clashes, including high-ranking officers, and four troops were wounded.

Armenia says four of its soldiers - two of them officers - were killed, according to a BBC report.

The two neighbouring countries have been fighting over Nagorno-Karabakh, internationally recognised as part of Azerbaijan but controlled by ethnic Armenians.

Turkey has backed Azerbaijan and warned Armenia that it would not hesitate to respond to an attack on its ally.