The "Mustafa Kemal Ataturk - 2021" exercises involve up to 600 personnel in an effort to improve the allies' combat interoperability.

Earlier this month, both sides agreed to increase cooperation in the military sphere.
Earlier this month, both sides agreed to increase cooperation in the military sphere. ()

Turkey and Azerbaijan have begun joint military drills in Baku, deploying tanks, helicopters and drones in an effort to improve the two countries' combat interoperability, Azerbaijan's Defence Ministry said.

Photographs released by the Azerbaijan on Monday showed a column of armoured personnel carriers and tanks from the two countries advancing on flat arid terrain.

"The main purpose of the exercises ... is to improve interaction between the two countries' army units during combat operations, to develop the commanders' military decision-making skills and their ability to manage military units," the ministry said.

The drills, named "Mustafa Kemal Ataturk - 2021", will last until Wednesday, involving up to 600 personnel, around 40 tanks and armoured vehicles, and seven helicopters.

READ MORE: Turkey, Azerbaijan sign ‘Shusha Declaration’ to boost post-war cooperation

Turkey's role in Karabakh conflict 

Ankara last year backed Azerbaijan's effort to drive illegal Armenian forces out of swathes of territory they had occupied since the 1990s in and around the Nagorno-Karabakh region.

The two countries earlier this month agreed to increase cooperation in the military sphere.

The Kremlin said earlier this month it was closely monitoring developments around a potential Turkish military base in Azerbaijan, a move it said could require Russia to take steps to ensure its own security and interests. 

READ MORE: A series of autonomous drones gives Turkey a military edge

Source: Reuters