The Azerbaijani army has been deployed to the strategic city of Lachin in Karabakh, the country’s President Ilham Aliyev announced on Friday.
"Today, on 26 August, we - the Azerbaijanis - have returned to the city of Lachin," Aliyev said on Twitter.
"Azerbaijan's Army is now stationed in the city of Lachin. The villages of Zabukh and Sus were taken under control," he added.
Aliyev also congratulated all the residents of Lachin and the people of Azerbaijan on this occasion.
"Long live Lachin! Long live Azerbaijan!" the president said.
A video on social media showed that Azerbaijan's flag has been raised on a building in the city center of Lachin.
Accompanied by a group of soldiers, Maj. Gen. Kanan Seyidov, the commander of the army corps, said that the Azerbaijani army has taken full control of the city of Lachin, as well as Zabukh and Sus villages, in line with the directives of the president.
Lachin lies on the route between the city of Khankendi in Karabakh and Armenia.
Russian peacekeepers and the Armenian population have left the areas along the route known as the Lachin Corridor, where Lachin, Zabuh, and Sus are located. The area was temporarily put under Russian control in line with the tripartite declaration signed by Moscow, Baku and Yerevan on Nov. 10, 2020, following 44 days of the second Karabakh War between Azerbaijan and Armenia.
As part of the declaration, Azerbaijan built a 32-kilometer (20-mile) road passing around Lachin for the Armenian population in Karabakh to use on their way to and from Armenia.
Russian peacekeepers providing security on the route of the old Lachin Corridor were required to move the checkpoints to the new road.
Lachin and its villages were occupied by the Armenian army in 1992, and then Armenians brought from Syria and Lebanon were settled there in the following years.
Throughout the process, Azerbaijan has declared that it sees this as a war crime and a violation of the Geneva Conventions.