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Turkish Army soldiers prepare their tanks and armoured personnel carriers at a staging area in the outskirts of the village of Sugedigi, Turkey, on the border with Syria, Monday, Jan. 22, 2018. The Turkish offensive on the Kurdish enclave of Afrin in Syria, codenamed Operation Olive Branch, started on Saturday, heightening tensions in the already complicated Syrian conflict and threatening to further strain ties between NATO allies Turkey and the United States. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)

Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar announced on Saturday that the Turkish ground forces have completed their preparations and can soon head to Azerbaijan to monitor the ceasefire in Karabakh.

The state-owned Anadolu Agency quoted Akar as saying: “Our soldiers are heading soon to Azerbaijan. The Turkish ground forces have completed their preparations to perform their duties following the ceasefire agreement signed between Baku and Yerevan.”

According to Akar, the Turkish forces will be heading to Azerbaijan after Ankara received a request from Baku to deploy their troops to the disputed Karabakh region.

On the other hand, Akar considered that Western politicians accusing the Azerbaijani army of burning and destroying parts of Karabakh constitutes “a serious mistake.”

Turkey is one of Azerbaijan’s most important allies, as Ankara was the main supporter of Baku’s attempt to capture the Karabakh region from the Armenian forces.

The Turkish Armed Forces were also accused by Yerevan of shooting down an Armenian Su-25 jet that was taking off from a base within Armenian territory.

Ankara has denied these accusations; however, shortly after their denial, satellite footage was released showing the presence of Turkish F-16 jets in Azerbaijan.