Tension on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border continues for second day
The situation on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border remains tense for a second day, after a skirmish yesterday on July 12 at the border of the Tovuz region of Azerbaijan and the Tavush region of Armenia.
The defense ministries of the two countries have been reporting conflicting information, which the Azerbaijani side regarding the incident as an attempt by Armenian troops “to launch an offensive in order to seize positions”, and the Armenian Defence Ministry blaming the incident on the Azerbaijani authorities.
EU Special Representative for the South Caucasus and the Crisis in Georgia Toivo Klaar tweeted:
“We are extremely worried about the shootout on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border. It’s extremely important for both countries to demonstrate restraint and use all communication channels directly and through the co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group. ”
The Russian Foreign Ministry has already issued a statement that it is ready to provide assistance to stabilize the situation.
All the details of what is happening now on the border according to the military departments of Armenia and Azerbaijan.
Information from Armenia
Defense Ministry spokesman statements
On July 12, the press secretary of the Ministry of Defense Shushan Stepanyan said that in the afternoon, Azerbaijani soldiers in an UAZ vehicle made an attempt to violate the state border of Armenia in the Tavush direction:
“After warning the Armenian side, leaving the UAZ car, the enemy troops returned to their positions.
At 13:45, the Azerbaijani Armed Forces, using artillery fire, tried to seize our stronghold, but were thrown back from their positions, bearing casualties. There are no losses on the Armenian side.”
According to the statement of the press secretary, the Azerbaijani side again opened artillery fire one hour later and tried to capture an Armenian stronghold:
“The Azerbaijani troops were beat back from their positions with return fire, bearing casualties.”
On the morning of July 13, it became known that the Armed Forces of Azerbaijan continued shelling.
“After a two-three hour break in the morning, the enemy resumed provocative actions, continuing to shell Armenian positions. The Armed Forces of Armenia returned fire. It is possible that the enemy will increase losses,” said Shushan Stepanyan.
Comment from the Prime Minister of Armenia
Nikol Pashinyan assessed the actions of Azerbaijan as a military provocation and assured that Armenia would not leave it unanswered:
“For a long time, the Azerbaijani authorities have been trying to play the ‘anti-Armenian card’ … Perhaps we are dealing with the working style of the military-political leadership of Azerbaijan, when they try to push internal problems into the background by exacerbating the problems at the border.
In this context, the obvious contempt for human life, including the Azerbaijani military, is striking. This is reflected in the fact that they are sent to perform unpromising actions.”
The prime minister also emphasized that Azerbaijan did not heed the UN Secretary General’s call for a global ceasefire during the pandemic.
Emergency meeting in the CSTO
Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan discussed the incident on the border with the Secretary General of the Collective Security Treaty Organization, of which Armenia is a member.
The beginning of the CSTO goes back to 1992, immediately after the collapse of the USSR. The organization operates under the leadership of Russia, its members are Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.
Armenian Foreign Minister emphasized the unacceptability of military provocations against a member of the organization.
Later, the CSTO press service reported that an emergency meeting of the Permanent Council is being held on the aggravation of the situation on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border.
Reaction from Nagorno-Karabakh
The Nagorno-Karabakh Republic’s Defense Army reports that the situation on the Karabakh-Azerbaijan contact line has been calm for the past two days.
Information from Baku
Ministry of Defense statements
The Azerbaijani Ministry of Defense reported on the morning of July 13 that the Armenian armed forces, “in order to aggravate the situation”, fired at Azerbaijani positions for 24 hours using “heavy machine guns, grenade launchers, sniper rifles, 60, 82 and 120 mm mortars, and other artillery installations.”
The ministry also reports:
“During the night battles, our units, using artillery, mortars and tanks with accurate fire, destroyed a strong hold, artillery installations, automotive equipment and manpower in the territory of the enemy’s military unit …
Currently, the operational situation is under the control of our troops. Punitive measures are being used against the enemy. The adversary is hiding information about losses.”
What officials say
Azerbaijani officials speak in the same vein: aggravation at the border is a consequence of the provocation of Armenia.
The head of the press service of the Ministry of Defense, Colonel Vaqif Dargahli, said:
“The enemy is trying to carry out provocations not only on the front lines, but also through social media. Allegedly they shot down our military equipment belonging to our UAV vehicle, supposedly we have many wounded and we don’t have enough blood for them.
All this information is a lie. None of our equipment and UAVs belonging to our army were shot down, and there were few wounded. I urge our people not to believe enemy provocations.”
Statement by Ilham Aliyev
On July 13, a meeting of the Security Council of Azerbaijan was held. President Ilham Aliyev chaired. He again called the shootout at the border a provocation.
“Yesterday and tonight the enemy was given an adequate response. We have avenged our military personnel, revenge will continue … As soon as the operational situation permits, we will invite military representatives of foreign countries to this territory so that they can see with their own eyes the situation. So that they see who committed this military provocation …
As you know, the internal situation in Armenia has already reached a crisis mark. Internal strife gained wide scope.”
Support from Turkey
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, commenting on the situation in an interview with TRT Haber, said:
“Armenia must be wise! We use every opportunity to be close to Azerbaijan.”
In response to the aggravation of the border situation in Azerbaijani society, previously occupied only with the situation with coronavirus, the agenda changed – the Karabakh conflict came to the fore.
On the night of July 13, in the village of Lokbatan on the outskirts of Baku, about a hundred people took to the streets demanding war. They demanded that they be sent to the front.
The rally was quickly dispersed by the police, to the displeasure of commentators on social media, who demanded that the police join the protesters and go with them to the front.