This week, after an apparent two -month pause in official visits to the frontline locations, Azeri Defence minister Zakir Hasanov visited military bases and installations along the north and south of the line-of-contact (LoC).
On 4 December, Hasanov visited military positions near the Leletepe heights and a memorial to Azeri servicemen fallen in the 2016 April war in Horadiz 6,5 km from the LoC on the southern segment. On the same trip, Hasanov visited a newly-build military engineering centre, where a defence hardware and new technologies are put to the test, aimed at eventually being used for defence purposes on nearby positions.
Official footage from the 4 December visit to the Horadiz area
Hasanov also visited a major military base housing heavy artillery units and a capacity of several thousand troops. The base was built in 2015 37km from the LoC next to an abandoned airport near the Migechevir resevoir, and Hasanov’s visit came to follow up on combat readiness, equipment at the unit’s disposal and the overall living conditions of the troops stationed there.
Satellite imagery showing the building of one of the country’s biggest military construction projects
Satellite imagery between December 2014-June 2015 when the construction on the base started
During the visit, Hasanov also visited another military base still under construction at an undisclosed location. An official notification on the same day mentioned that the base was near the area of the “frontline”, referring to the LoC. The base will house military hardware as well as a military police detachment, besides the habitual facilities for troops station there. The area was apparently visited in late September of this year, which was the last time Hasanov officially visited the area around the line-of-contact.
The new military base could possible be used to house units that had been previously station on the northern border segment with Armenia, in the Tovuz, Aghstafa and Gazakh regions. As mentioned in an earlier article, units of the country’s armed forces were withdrawn from the area and replaced with troops from the powerful State Border Service.
Major bases normally lie around 30 km from the LoC as to not constitute targets for the Armenian side, while near the LoC itself smaller bases are distributed, which eventually provide troops for military positions in the trenches.
Photos of the future base provided by the Azeri defence officials