Nagorno-Karabakh. Exchange of prisoners
On Monday, Azerbaijan and Armenia held an exchange of prisoners and hostages. The official representative of the Russian Ministry of Defense, Igor Konashenkov, reported that the negotiations on the exchange of prisoners were personally led by the commander of the Russian peacekeepers in Nagorno-Karabakh, Lieutenant-General Rustam Muradov. It was noted that as a result of the agreements, 12 PoWs were returned to Azerbaijan, and 44 to Armenia. Konashenkov noted that the commander of the Russian peacekeeping contingent brought them back home to Baku and Yerevan, respectively, on a Russian Air Force plane. The State Commission of Azerbaijan for PoWs, Hostages, and Missing Persons reported that on Monday, the Azerbaijani citizens that were held captive were brought to Baku, including Shahbaz Guliyev and Dilgam Asgarov, held by Armenia since 2014. «After the quarantine measures, the released persons will be reunited with their families» — the ministry reported. The Deputy Prime Minister of Armenia, Tigran Avinyan, stated on Facebook that currently only the persons, whose captivity status was confirmed by the representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross and Azerbaijan, are being given back. He added that the search of the missing persons, and return of other compatriots, who may be in captivity, is still on-going.
On Monday, the USA imposed sanctions against the Turkish Defense Industry Authority, its head Ismail Demir, and 3 more Turkish citizens due to the law on countering of America’s adversaries via sanctions — the US Treasury Department reported. The sanctions were imposed due to the Turkish purchase of the Russian AA missile systems S-400s. The US secretary of State Mike Pompeo stated that the USA «won’t tolerate any significant transactions with the Russian defense and intelligence sector». He called on Turkey to immediately resolve the «S-400s problem» together with the USA. The Turkish Foreign Ministry stated that Ankara will respond to the imposed sanctions. The Foreign Ministry added that “Turkey, at its own discretion, will take the necessary steps against this decision that will negatively affect the relations between Ankara and Washington. Turkey won’t refrain from taking measures it deems necessary to ensure its own national security. Turkey is ready to address the issue via a dialogue and diplomacy» — the Turkish Foreign Ministry stated.
The Afghan TV channel ’Ariana News’ reported while citing their sources that the Taliban attacked a checkpoint in Baglan province. As a result — 13 Afghan soldiers were killed, 5 were injured. According to the Ariana News — the attack took place in the Wazirabad district of Puli-Humri, the administrative center of the northern province of Baglan, located at the intersection of strategically important roads. The Puli Humri police have confirmed the Taliban attack. The 1TV reported while citing a source on Twitter that the Taliban made an attack in Uruzgan province, in central Afghanistan. According to the 1TV — at least 13 policemen were killed.
The Russian Defense Ministry denied the information about the surrounding of Russian peacekeepers in Nagorno-Karabakh. Earlier some mass media reported about a statement from the Armenian Prime Minister that the Russian peacekeepers are, allegedly, surrounded by the Azerbaijani troops near the villages of Hin Tager and Khtsaberd, in the Hadrut region. «The report about the encirclement of the Russian peacekeepers by one of the party of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is a fake news» — the Russian Defense Ministry stated, and added that the Russian peacekeepers perform their tasks just as usual, both at the observation posts and at the monitoring of the ceasefire. «The ceasefire is being observed at the entire contact line» — the ministry concluded.
The ’Al-Hadath’ TV reported that a US military base at the north of the Syrian province of Deir ez-Zor came under rocket fire. It was noted that on Thursday, several rockets hit the territory of the US military base. It was specified that it was an attack on a US military camp located in the area of the Al-Omar oil field. The ’Al-Hadath’ TV added that the US troops, together with the Kurdish fighters from the ’Syrian Democratic Forces, are currently sweeping the area around the oil facility.
The Times of India reported while citing their official sources that the Indian government has allowed the Indian armed forces to increase their stockpiles of weapons and ammo for 15 days of a potential war against China and Pakistan. It was noted that the weaponry will be purchased from foreign and Indian manufacturers. The sources of the Times of India reported that the Indian army has already purchased a large number of missiles and shells for tanks and artillery. About $67.8 millions of dollars have been allocated for the purchases. Constantine Reztsov, specially for ANNA NEWS.