Armenia deploying terrorist groups to occupied Azerbaijan - Azeri envoy

Armenia is arming and deploying militant groups, including the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the Armenian Secret Army for the Liberation of Armenia (ASALA), to occupied territories of Azerbaijan, the Azeri ambassador to Turkey Khazar Ibrahim told state-run Anadolu agency in an interview.

Clashes broke out between Armenian and Azerbaijani military forces in the region of Nagorno-Karabakh on Sunday, reigniting a decades-long territorial dispute over the mountainous breakaway state.

“They (Armenia) adopted a new national security strategy which specifically indicated that they want to occupy new territories of Azerbaijan,” he said. “Within the last several months, Armenia started a volunteer programme gathering the people, providing them with training, including women."

The PKK, designated as a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the United States and the European Union, has been fighting an armed insurgency against the Turkish state for four decades.

ASALA was responsible for a series of assassinations of Turkish diplomats between 1975 and 1984. The group was also labelled a terrorist organisation by Turkey and the United States.

Ibrahim warned that his country would not tolerate further attacks and will respond by force.

“The provocation by the Armenian armed forces was answered overwhelmingly, and already the Azerbaijani armed forces liberated seven occupied villages of Azerbaijan in Fuzuli and Jabrail,” he said.

Armenian forces and the groups they cooperate with "do not shy away" from deliberately attacking civilians, the envoy said.