|Azerbaijani Peacekeeping Forces|
Azerbaijani peacekeeper in Iraq
The Baku N unit is the primary peacekeeping unit of the Azerbaijani Land Forces. The Army's peacekeeping detachment was formed in 1997 and was later transformed into a battalion. Soldiers are carefully selected for the Baku N unit. The unit is trained intensively on tactical preparation, sports, foreign languages, contacts with local residents and other subjects. After six months of training, members are sent to join peacekeeping operations.
Since September 1999 Azerbaijani servicemen acted within the NATO/U.S.-led Coalition intervention forces in Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq. Azerbaijan also floated the idea of creating peacekeeping units to be deployed in separatist conflict areas of GUAM countries.
The Azeri peacekeeping unit in Kosovo (1 officer, 1 sergeant and 32 soldiers) carried service from September, 1999 within the Turkish battalion. The Azerbaijanis oversaw eighteen settlements in the area. On February 26, 2008, as Kosovo parliament declared independence, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev addressed the National Assembly on behalf of withdrawal of Azeri peacekeepers from Kosovo. The address was considered at Assembly session on March 4, 2008 and accepted with eighty seven votes placet, three contra and two abstained.
On April 15 of the same year the platoon returned to Azerbaijan. Overall about 400 Azeri servicemen have administered peacekeeping in Kosovo.
Azeri servicemen were deployed to Iraq as part of Combined Joint Task Force 7 from 2003. The peacekeeping unit consisted of 14 officers, 16 sergeants and 120 privates, who secured the hydroelectric power station and reservoir in Haditha from August 2003. One company of Azerbaijani peacekeepers commanded by Captain Nasimi Javadov guarded the area of Haditha Dam, which is one of the principal sources of electricity in Iraq. An Azeri delegation headed by the Deputy Minister of Defense visited the Hadithah Dam at the invitation of the U.S. Marine Corps officials. During the Iraq peacekeeping one Azeri serviceman (Rafael Agayev) died. He had served in Iraq for one year and on June 27, 2008 Agayev's body was sent to homeland, where he was buried in his native village.
From 2004 the company became part of the USMC led Multi-National Forces West.
Ilham Aliyev’s address to recall the Azeri peacekeepers in Iraq was accepted at the plenary session of National Assembly by eighty six votes placet and one contra.
Four Azeri officers in Iraq (Maj. Huseyn Dashdamirov, Capt. Nasimi Javadov, Capt. Alizamin Karimov and Sr. Lt. Abdulla Abdullayev) have been awarded the US Navy and Marines Corps Achievement Medal.
Azerbaijan joined with platoon to International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) consisting of 21 soldiers, one officer and one NCO in November 2002 with the aim of contributing to provision of peace, security and order in Afghanistan.
The Azeri platoon commanded by First Lieutenant Shamil Mammadov performed patrolling duties in the populated district of southern Kabul. On October 2, 2008 the National Assembly passed a decision to send 45 more peacekeepers to Afghanistan. In an interview to Azeri Press Agency Brigadier-General Richard Blanchette said: "As the spokesperson for ISAF on behalf of General McKiernan, the Commander of ISAF, I thank your country, your soldiers, and the families of your soldiers, for their contribution to this vital mission".
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- "Ukraine, Georgia, and Azerbaijan Pledge Closer Ties," Reuters, January 25, 1999
- "The Peacekeeping Forces of Azerbaijan" (PDF). Coalition Bulletin. http://static.dvidshub.net/media/pubs/pdf_2726.pdf. Retrieved 2009-04-18.
- "Deaths by Country". Icasualties.org. Archived from the original on 18 April 2009. http://web.archive.org/web/20090418134050/http://icasualties.org/Iraq/DeathsByCountry.aspx. Retrieved 2009-04-19. [dead link]
- "United States Central Command-Coalition Countries". Centcom.mil. http://www.centcom.mil/en/countries/coalition/azerbaijan/. Retrieved 2009-04-18. [dead link]
- "Azerbaijan to render military assistance to Afghanistan". Azeri Press Agency. 2009-02-20. http://en.apa.az/news.php?id=97519. Retrieved 2009-04-26.
- Suleymanov, Rashad (2009-03-27). "ISAF Commander in Afghanistan: “We highly appreciate Azerbaijani peacekeepers’ contributions to ISAF mission”". Baku: Azeri Press Agency. http://en.apa.az/news.php?id=99313. Retrieved 2009-04-26.
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