Ilham Aliyev addressed the nation
17 October 2020, 10:12
My fellow compatriots!
Today, Armenia’s fascist leadership perpetrated yet another war crime. The cities of Gandja and Mingachevir came under missile attack. As a result of this cowardly shelling, our fellow citizens have been killed and wounded. May Allah rest all our martyrs in peace and send healing to our wounded compatriots!
This once again shows the fascist nature of the Armenian leadership. This is not the first time our cities have come under fire. Armenia fires on Tartar, Aghdam, Goranboy, Aghjabadi and other cities practically every day. Due to this fire, our citizens have been killed and wounded, more than 2,000 houses have been destroyed or seriously damaged. However, these cowardly actions cannot break the will of the Azerbaijani people.
Armenian leadership is committing a war crime. Shooting at civilians, including firing missiles, is a war crime, and they must and will bear responsibility for this crime. We are retaliating on the battlefield. We are avenging and will continue to avenge the deaths of our martyrs, of innocent civilians on the battlefield. We have never fought or will ever wage a war against the civilian population. We are not Armenians. We have our own way, we have our own cause, and all the Azerbaijani people are united around this cause. All the Azerbaijani people are showing solidarity and patriotism.
The victorious Azerbaijan’s Army is driving and will continue to drive the enemies away from our lands in the ongoing battles. I said that if they do not leave our lands of their own free will, we will chase them away like dogs and we are doing that. Every day, the victorious Azerbaijani Army liberates new strategic locations, new heights and new settlements from the occupiers. Our revenge happens on the battlefield.
These days, from 27 September to the present, a crushing blow has been dealt to Armenia's military potential. I just want to bring some figures to our citizens’ attention. I must say that the list I will provide is incomplete. An even larger amount of enemy equipment has been destroyed and, of course, it is impossible to calculate it accurately during the battle. However, the figures I will quote show explicitly that we have gained a complete advantage on the battlefield and have almost completely destroyed the military-technical potential of Armenia. The question is where do so many weapons and so much equipment come from to Armenia? Armenia's military budget is well known. Armenia's state budget is also well known. Armenia is a bankrupt country. The country's foreign debt accounts for 60-70 percent of the country's gross domestic product. The country's foreign exchange reserves are only $1.5 billion, which are bank reserves. That is, it is not available funds. Where do they get the money for weapons and equipment? The equipment we have destroyed and taken as trophies so far is worth at least $2 billion. But there is still more in their hands – in the occupied territories and in the territory of Armenia. The question is who is arming them. In some cases, we are criticized that we are arming ourselves, we are buying weapons and this can allegedly aggravate the situation and turn it in an undesirable direction. The question is what about Armenia’s armament. Where do so many weapons and hardware come from to this poor country? Today, they are smuggling weapons and equipment using some smuggling schemes. And they are very dangerous and very destructive weapons. Therefore, we want answers to these questions, and I am sure we will get them.
I would like to bring to the attention of my people some of the Armenian equipment Azerbaijan’s Army has destroyed in recent days. Thus, the list of the destroyed Armenian equipment includes: 234 tanks destroyed, 36 tanks taken as military trophy, 49 infantry fighting vehicles, 24 taken as military trophy, 16 self-propelled artillery pieces destroyed, 190 cannons of various calibers, two “Hurricane” systems, one TOS flame-thrower, two “Elbrus” tactical operational missile complexes, one “Tochka-U”, 35 “OSA” anti-aircraft missile systems, three “TOR” anti-aircraft missile complexes, five “KUB” and “KRUG” anti-aircraft missile complexes, nine radio-electronic combat systems, two S-300 anti-aircraft missile systems, 196 cargo trucks destroyed, and 98 taken as trophy. Anyone, any specialist can calculate the price of this equipment using open sources. We must and we will find answers to these questions.
Azerbaijan’s glorious Army is successfully continuing its salvation mission. In recent days, I have informed my people and announced the names of the newly liberated villages. Today, with a feeling of great satisfaction and joy, I want to convey to my dear people the names of more settlements that have been liberated. The following villages of Fuzuli district have been liberated from the occupiers – Gochahmadli, Chiman, Juvarli, Pirahmadli, Musabayli, Ishigli and Dadali villages and the city of Fuzuli. The city of Fuzuli has been liberated from the occupiers, Fuzuli is ours, Karabakh is Azerbaijan!
I cordially congratulate all the people of Azerbaijan on this occasion. I offer sincere congratulations to the people of Fuzuli on this occasion. Many years of longing for native land are coming to an end. We are honorably fulfilling our mission, restoring and will restore the territorial integrity of our country. The battles for Fuzuli were very hard. Time will pass and books and papers will be written about these battles. It was a battle that required great professionalism, skill, courage and self-sacrifice. Because during these 30 years, the enemy has built such a strong fortification on the line of contact that some people thought that it was impossible to liberate the city of Fuzuli from occupation. Even the most well-known military experts were of the opinion that it would take months to capture Fuzuli and free it from occupation and whether the operation would be successful at all. However, the victorious Azerbaijani Army was able to tackle this glorious mission and most of the villages of Fuzuli district and the city of Fuzuli have been liberated from the enemy in a short time. When we talk about the city of Fuzuli, of course, we should all know that there is nothing left of the city, no monuments, not a single building. For 30 years, it was in the hands of vultures, in the hands of predators, in the hands of jackals. All the buildings have been demolished, our religious sites have been razed to the ground, everything has been looted, the roofs of the houses, the windows, the property – everything. It was as if a wild tribe had taken over the city. The remains of the city of Fuzuli are a manifestation of Armenian fascism and a witness to Armenian fascism.
We will return to Fuzuli, we will rebuild and landscape all the villages. Life will return to those villages. Just like in the past when the Azerbaijani Army liberated 22 villages of Fuzuli district, including Horadiz settlement, under the National leader. Look at how beautiful this place is now. Horadiz settlement has become a very prosperous and modern town. Fuzuli people live in liberated villages. I can say that about half of the population of Fuzuli has been settled in the villages liberated so far, but more villages inhabited by Fuzuli people have been liberated today. Life will return there, they will return there, they will live there, they will visit the graves of their ancestors. The call to prayer will be heard in the mosques to be restored there. We are fulfilling our glorious mission. I am confident that the glorious Azerbaijani Army will continue to drive the invaders away from our lands.
The Fuzuli operation is quite symbolic. Azerbaijan has regained its historical and ancient settlement and ensured the return of tens of thousands of people to these places. At the same time, from a strategic point of view, the breaching of several lines of defense on the line of contact with Fuzuli gives us another strategic advantage. Because our armed forces located in the direction of Fuzuli have been fighting there these days. Of course, it is not a secret now where we were able to enter Fuzuli from. As a result of tremendous military professionalism and courage, we were able to liberate Fuzuli from the occupiers. Before that, the city of Jabrayil was liberated from the invaders. Before that, Hadrut was liberated from the occupiers. Many villages of Khojavand and Jabrayil districts, including Fuzuli district, were liberated from occupation. Only after that were we able to liberate the city of Fuzuli from the occupiers.
In the latest stage, the enemy has dropped the guns and fled. Today, I can say with full responsibility that the Fuzuli operation will be included in military books. In fact, not only Fuzuli operation but also other operations. According to the information I have today, military experts are already clearly saying that the Azerbaijani Army is an army with great combat capability and technical support.
It is a historic day today. The date of 17 October will remain forever not only in the memory of Fuzuli people but also in the history of the Azerbaijani state. Today, we, all the people of Azerbaijan, are writing the brightest page of our people and our state together. Today, we are writing this glorious history of solidarity, mutual support and unity. We are lucky to live in these moments. Unfortunately, tens of thousands of our refugees and IDPs who were looking forward to these moments did not live to see these days. But I am sure that their souls are happy today because their native lands have been liberated from the occupiers.
Despite the fact that the cowardly, treacherous and vile enemy commits war crimes, fires on the civilian population and kills children as a result of today’s bombardent, I want to say again that we must not take revenge on civilians. We are taking revenge on the battlefield. The blood of our martyrs and civilians does not and will not remain unavenged. I warn the fascist leadership of Armenia again – leave the remaining lands of your own accord. We will throw you out of there anyway. There will be no trace of them left on those lands. We will drive them out of our lands to the end. Let them leave of their own accord!
He did not want to give up Fuzuli even though he understood perfectly well that he would not be able to keep it. He did not want to give up Jabrayil. Yesterday, the day before yesterday and today, successful operations were carried out in the direction of Jabrayil and strategic heights were captured. I do not want to say anything about that yet. I do not want to get ahead of the events. But the victorious Azerbaijani Army is achieving and will continue to achieve its goals, our territorial integrity is being restored and will be fully restored. No force can stop us. No force can stand against the will of the Azerbaijani people. Everyone should know this. No-one can stand in front of us. Let the predatory Armenian state vacate our lands. After that, a ceasefire will be ensured. A ceasefire was declared, but Ganja was bombed a day later. And which part of it? A residential settlement. Where did they hit today? Again, a residential area. When did they shoot? At night, so that more people die.
This is a crime against humanity. If the international community does not want to bring Armenia to justice for the crimes it has committed – just as no-one has brought them to justice for the Khojaly genocide – we will bring them to justice ourselves. We will punish them, and our punishment will be just. They deserve the most severe punishment. Armenia’s political-military leadership are criminals and we will punish these criminals.
The prime minister of Armenia who said that “Karabakh is Armenia”, what happened, why aren’t you saying that “Karabakh is Armenia” now? Come to Fuzuli, where you were exploiting our land. Come to Jabrayil, come to Hadrut, come to other liberated places and say that “Karabakh is Armenia”. You are sitting there in Yerevan, making statements from there, annoying world leaders – there is no-one left you didn’t phone.
Why aren’t you saying that “Karabakh is Armenia”? You are afraid and you should be. But why were you so brave when you insulted the Azerbaijani people by saying that “Karabakh is Armenia, full stop”? Who did you rely on? Didn’t you know that one day you will be held accountable for your actions? The day has come and is coming. Bringing Armenians from Lebanon and other countries to Shusha is a war crime that contradicts the Geneva Convention. They do it demonstratively, they show it on TV, they show Armenians coming to live and work in our ancient land. Let's see now who will come to settle in Shusha. You were building a new road with Armenia from Jabrayil. Why? You have illegally occupied that region, our Araz region, in order to settle Armenians there? You wanted to make us face facts? What was the purpose of bringing Armenians from abroad and settling them there in various ways, including through deception because Armenia has a small population? The goal is to keep our historical lands under eternal occupation, to ensure eternal occupation and Armenianize our lands. Look, they gave Fuzuli an ugly name. Let this name be a curse on you. This name will go to hell. This name no longer exists. There is no Madagiz – it is Sugovushan. We will restore our other historical names. You wanted to move the parliament of your “entity” to Shusha. Go ahead and do it now! Where is the place where you conducted the “swearing-in ceremony” of the leader of that fake gang? We have destroyed it, completely destroyed it. You put forward seven conditions to us. You were speaking to us in the language of ultimatums. Let's see what your conditions are now. What happened? You cling to people, fall at their feet begging for help in stopping Azerbaijan. Tell Azerbaijan to stop. Get out of our land and we will stop! Get the hell out of our lands! I have said this before and do not hide anything. The people of Azerbaijan know this and the international community is saying this too. I say this every day – get out and say that you will leave here tomorrow, and we will stop. We do not need to shed blood. We need lands. We will get this land by any means. Let everyone know this. The history of the last days shows this.
It is proving too costly for you, for the Armenian leadership, to insult the Azerbaijani people. Too costly. The Armenian people must finally bring the leaders of this criminal regime to justice. Rallies are already being organized in military conscription offices in Armenia. Mothers are blocking the roads and preventing their children from dying in another country. I also appealed to the Armenian people, and I am appealing to them again: Do not let your children go! What are they doing in our lands? Live in your own country. We have nothing to do with you. Go and live in your own country, do whatever you want but leave our lands. I am confident that the Armenian people will also bring the leaders of their criminal junta to justice. We are on the path of truth, we are on the path of justice. We are right, we are fighting in our own land, we are giving martyrs on our own land. Ours is a sacred war!
We have shown our strength on the battlefield, both to the enemy and to the whole world. The strength we are showing on the battlefield is underpinned by the will of the Azerbaijani people, the talent of the Azerbaijani people and our success.
I want to say again that we are a lucky people. Our generation is happy to be witnessing these happy days. I consider myself a lucky person to convey this good news to my people. As the Commander-in-Chief, I lead all the work and want to assure the people of Azerbaijan that I will continue to do my best to protect the national interests of our country and our people. No threat and no pressure can affect my will. Ours is the cause of truth. We are fighting on our own land and restoring our territorial integrity.
Long live Azerbaijan’s Army! Long live the people of Azerbaijan! Karabakh is Azerbaijan!