APA employees toured the territories liberated from the occupation by the Azerbaijani army under the leadership of the Supreme Commander-in-Chief Ilham Aliyev. Our employees have prepared a series of reports from these territories under the heading "In the wake of victory". We present another reportage from this series from Zengilan district:
You may read previous reportages:
Whoever goes to the territories liberated after the 44-day Patriotic War, is already flying, in the heart is the joy of the lands liberated from enemy occupation for 44 days, in the chest is the pride of Army that gained the Victory. The 27-year longing attracts visitors to Karabakh like a swallow longing for its nest
This time we are really flying to Karabakh. As our helicopter passes over the liberated Fuzuli and Jabrayil regions, the occupied territories are seen to us from a completely different angle.
Destroyed houses, dwellings whose lands blown to ashes, cities and settlements turned into forests... The ruins that stretch far away. Houses which hearths put out, each of which tells the story of hundreds and thousands of people.
The fates of people who were expelled from their homes, forced to live in tent camps for years, in difficult conditions, and faced a thousand kinds of deprivation...
27 years later, you are grateful for the return of these lands, these homes. You rejoice in the restoration of justice of God. You would like to ask to God: It was impossible to endure this pain for 27 days, how did you endure 27 years, God ?! But you don't say, don't look at the ground, people don't think such blasphemous things in the sky ...
Finally, after a flight of about two hours, our helicopter makes a dusty landing in Zangilan. Without bothering you with hydrometeorological data, I can only say that we must reach the village of Bartaz before evening. After a while, the Bartaz border outpost will be opened, they are waiting for us.
The ceremony begins as soon as we reach the outpost. The national anthem of Azerbaijan is played and our tricolor flag is raised at the "Bartaz" border outpost of the "Horadiz" border detachment of the Border Troops of the State Border Service (SBS).
The outpost is located on the Azerbaijani-Iranian border, on the banks of the Araz River. The other side of the outpost is the village of Bartaz - a village destroyed by the enemy.
During the 44-day war, SBS servicemen took part in the liberation of Fuzuli, Jabrayil, Zangilan and Gubadli districts, Hadrut settlement and Shusha, as well as in the operation to clear 132 kilometers of the Azerbaijani-Iranian border from enemy.
In the battle that took place on October 22, along with several villages of Zangilan, Bartaz height was liberated from the enemy, and for one night!
And our border guards hoisted the Azerbaijani flag on the top of mount Bartaz. Tomorrow we will try hard to talk to one of those brave men who hoisted our flag on mount Bartaz. But will he put aside his shyness for a moment and talk about his bravery? Let the answer remain a mystery for now.
On the way back from Bartaz, we stop near Sobu, Garadere, Gargulu, Yukhari Mushlan and other villages. The current situation of these villages do not differ from the ones in Jabrayil, Fizuli and Aghdam; only drywall remains, mostly river stone-built houses and gloomy views ...
Now we are in Malikli village of Zangilan. It's getting dark. I do not know whether it is due to our arrival or their daily routine, but soon our soldiers will make a big bonfire.
And everyone will gather around the bonfire and listen to the conversations about the bravery of our border guards during the 44-day Patriotic War, the heroism of each of them would be covered in a separate epos, we will also learn that in 24 hours they advanced with a lightning attack at a distance of 105 kilometers and inflicted crushing blows to the enemy. We will also learn that the famous word "Iti govan" (Dog chaser) appeared after this lightning strike. The enemy did not even manage to build a second line of defense after this crushing blow.
You will hear these heroisms from the border guards in their own speech.
Along with the heat of the bonfire, these conversations will mix with the teas we drink from the soldiers' cups and bring warmth to our souls and strength to our hearts.
And, of course, at this point, in the light of the fire, the flames of which rise to the sky in the middle of the surrounding darkness, we will also remember the martyred frontier guard, the hero Khudayar. His innocent face will be revived in our eyes and his holy performance in our ears.
The second day of our visit. Our way is to Agkend and Gazanchi villages bordering on Gafan city of Armenia, we will see the battle points located in those areas, we will get acquainted with the service conditions of our border guards.
For now, we pass along the banks of the Okhchuchay, sometimes over the former Zangilan-Gafan railway, and sometimes we turn to the mountains and turn to hard, slippery, impassable "roads" ...
Aghkand battle point is located at the entrance to the village. Our border guards guard the border line with Armenia 24 hours a day.
The icy waters of the Okhchuchay river flow along the Azerbaijani-Armenian border. The other side of the river is the Sunik region and the city of Gafan of Armenia
The airport in Gafan looks like the palm of your hand from the place where our soldiers are standing. But our soldiers, as well as we do not look at it as the territory of Armenia, but as a part of our native lands, the ancient city of Gafan in Zangazur district. We are watching that side of the border with great interest and expectation.
There are even those among us who express their feelings: “When the time will come, our flags will wave in those lands as well."
There are even those who remember a part of the President's speech at the Victory Parade.
Colonel Babak Alakbarov. "He is also a hero like Babak," said his comrades while introducing him.
It was namely Colonel Babek Alakbarov who hoisted the flag on Khudafar Bridge and in the city of Zangilan and reported it to the President. Although wounded in the war, he did not leave the battlefield and fought in that condition for 15 days.
“Our border guards took part in the liberation of many parts of our territories from occupation. In addition, we entered among the enemy by conducting an 11.5 km operation in the direction of Khudafarin. We carried out an operation to clear those areas from the enemy, and during our operations along the Araz, the Armenian border outposts came under our control. I led the operattion in the direction of Khudafarin and a number of other ones,” said Colonel Babak Alakbarov.
- Did you report the flag hoisting on Khudafarin to the President?
- Yes, I had the chance to hoist the flag on Khudafarin, to report to the Supreme Commander-in-Chief on the liberation of Khudafarin Bridge and surrounding areas.
A few days later, an instruction was given to liberarte the city of Zangilan city from the enemy. This task was remembered almost as the fastest combat mission of the Second Karabakh War, as we advanced 25 km in 24 hours by combat tactics and the city was taken under our control. The preparation of Zangilan's defense plan ahead of time and the deployment of our groups there were considered successful movements frous. As a result, after we liberated the city from the occupation, the enemy's attempt to retake Zangilan cost them dear.
- Where were you wounded?
- I was wounded in the right hand in the battles for Zangilan. I also received shrapnel wounds to my jaw and left hand.
The bullet passed through the fingers of his right hand.
“The bones are broken, and now part of my hand is iron,” he smiles.
I ask permission to take a picture of the hand, he doesn't agree at first:
- There is no need, we did it for the motherland.
- You did not stop the fighting even after being wounded...
- I was the leader of the groups in some directions in that area. That is why I could not stop, the fighting must continue, thanks to God, we have liberated our lands.
- What was the level of moral training of our servicemen during the war, what feelings did you observe in them as an officer?
-I do not say, everyone was thinking about being a martyr, I mean, our aim is not to die, but I can surely say that no one was thinking about staying alive. During the application of the operation, our aim was to carry out the assigned tasks and destroy the enemy and drive them out of our lands. Everyone was thinking about this. We were not thinking about getting wounded or died. Everyone was bravely fighting. Although I and other officers were wounded, we fight and do not get back. On the contrary, these situations made them even more excited and angry.
- You have also awarded the title of Hero of the Patriotic War.
- Yes, I am awarded the title of Hero of the Patriotic War by Mr. President, as well as many of my comrades-in-arms was awarded honorary titles, orders, and medals. May God have mercy on our martyrs and wish healing to our wounded. All of these are proud. Personally, I am especially proud to be named a Hero of the Patriotic War and to report to the Supreme Commander-in-Chief on the liberation of both Khudafar and Zangilan. I am proud that I am the officer of a victorious President, a victorious army, victorious people.
Our next station is the post between Agkend and Kazanchi settlements. The Azerbaijani flag is waving on the opposite side of Gafan Airport here. This flag clearly seems from the Syunik region of Armenia.
Despite cold weather, snow and frost, our military servicemen organized the security near our flag.
By the way, note that Zangilan's Aghkend and Kazanchi settlements have been returned without a fight after the November 10 agreement.
If this side of the border is destroyed homes, roads, villages, another side of the border are factories, dams, airports, buildings and other infrastructure. So, such a question comes to the mind: Because the Armenians knew that Aghdam, Fizuli, Jabrayil, as well as other regions would return sooner or later, they did not settle down or build anything for 27 years. So why, why didn't they build at least a small hut in Khazanchi (as well as in Agkend), which is one step away from the Gafan-Gorus highway near the city of Gafan? It seems that Armenians have been sure that these lands, which do not belong to the, sooner or later would get out of their hands.
He is one of our servicemen, small gizir Isi Ismayilov who fought in the staff that hanged our flag to the height of Bartaz. Right now, he manages one of the cars which brought us these mountains. It may seem easy to you, but driving on these impassable roads requires skill and courage, as in combat.
We have tried much, but he rejects to speak. He says that everyone who fights with him shoulder to shoulder is the hero. So, there is no need to say anything special.
Fortunately, one of our gizir, Majid Seyidov agrees to speak instead of him.
His military friends call him Seyid.
Gizir M. Seyidov is also one of the servicemen who fought in the staff led by Colonel B. Alakbarov: “ These battles were not difficult for us. Because we have promised to our Supreme Commander-in-Chief and Chief of Service to put an end to these 27-years of longing. Our commander, Colonel Alakbarov, led the battles without stopping for 15 days, bleeding from his hands and wounded. Although we were repeatedly ambushed and provoked, we moved forward with confidence and achieved our goal. Thanks God, today, our head is upright. We have carried out our task given by Mr. Supreme Commander-in-Chief. Most importantly, we have restored the territorial integrity of our country’.
“During the battle, there were people who have wounded from the mortar shrapnel, bullets. But, we all were resolute to go ahead. Long live the Motherland! Of course, our wounded, who were no longer in a state of disability, were evacuated. But it seems to us that we continue to fight shoulder to shoulder with our martyrs and severely wounded we left behind. That is why we resolutely won!” said Seyid.
The Kazanchi battle point is located 100 meters from the Gafan-Gorus highway on the Azerbaijani-Armenian border. Our border guards directly control that way. Azerbaijani flag waves above the station. Every time, Armenian cars, who move that way, pass under our flag.
Someone stops the car and looks at us, then drives and go.
Not much, only four months ago, if Armenians crossing the Gafan-Gorus road were looking at the mountains and forests, but now they are excited and probably scared every time they see our tricolor flag, our brave border guards.
Each of the officers and gizir currently serving in these mountains took part in the battles for the liberation of our lands during the Great Patriotic War and now continues their service as a border guard. One of them is the chief of the Kazanchi battle station, senior lieutenant, Omar Mammadzade. He has fought in the direction of Jabrayil and Zangilan from the first day of the war: “During that period, we have participated in the part of special units of the State Border Service and hanged Victory Flag of Azerbaijan in the liberated territories from the occupation. Currently, we protect our borders with Armenia. We are honored to fulfill these responsibilities”.
We hand over our border guards to these mountains and return back. We encounter the fortifications dug by Armenians to defend themselves when they left Zangilan. These fortifications are deep because they were dug in order to prevent the movement of the tanks. But their efforts have been useless. As we return back, the crumbling bridges we saw on the roads, dozens of anti-tank fortifications, and barriers made of giant car tires lined up on the edges of the fortifications did not allow the enemy to defend itself.
Our visit ends. We get on our helicopters again and take off.
I look at the fortifications, trenches, defensive walls created by the Armenian Armed Forces. These fortifications, trenches, defensive walls, which were dug At the foot of the mountains, in the middle of the plain, look like snake-frog inscriptions, mysterious geoglyphs, mysterious Nazca lines. Although the reason for the creation of the strange Nazca lines in Peru, which are visible only from a very high distance in terms of size, and include mainly large images of animals and plants, is still unknown to science, there is no any importance of this "Snake-frog geoglyphs" for us at all. Azerbaijani Army revealed the secret of the so-called impassable, insoluble fortifications and walls of the Armenians and broke the magic after 27-years of longing for 44 days.
After that, let the world watch our bravery ...