Azerbaijan carries out missile strike on Karabakh
photo: Lusi Sargsyan, JAMnews
A serious incident was reported on the south-eastern section of the contact line of the Armenian and Azerbaijani troops, in the Karabakh conflict zone, late on 15 May. A guided missile, launched by the Azerbaijani armed forces, hit and destroyed an Armenian ‘OSA’ (WASP) surface-to-air missile system.
“The OSA was deployed to a new position were an attempt was made to gain control over the air space. The missile system, a transport-loading vehicle, as well as the crew, were destroyed by shelling, so as to prevent a threat to Azerbaijani aircraft and to suppress the enemy’s activity,” Azerbaijani Defense Ministry’s press service reported.
The Armenian side confirmed the missile attack. However, it denied reports on alleged casualties.
“Today, at approximately 4:30 p.m. (3:30 Moscow Time), the Azerbaijani Armed Forces carried out a provocation in the eastern section of the contact line with Nagorno Karabakh, by shelling the Nagorno-Karabakh Defense Army’s OSA with guided missiles.
As a result, one unit of military equipment has been partially damaged. No casualties among the servicemen reported.” Nagorno-Karabakh Defense Ministry’s website reads.
This video has been published on the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry’s website. However, as the Armenian Defense Ministry Spokesperson, Artsun Hovhannisyan commented on his Facebook page, only part of the aforesaid video was true.
“The ‘OSA’ surface-to-air missile system, which is operated by a 5-member crew, can detect air targets at a range of 45 kilometers and destroy them at a distance of 9 kilometers,” Azerbaijani Defense Ministry reported.
The Nagorno-Karabakh Defense Ministry claimed that the Azerbaijani side was responsible for the incident. “The Azerbaijani Armed Forces’ provocative actions won’t pass unanswered and the full responsibility for the consequences rests on the Azerbaijani defense and political leadership,” Nagorno-Karabakh Defense Ministry’s statement reads.
As the Armenian mass media reported early on 16 May, Azerbaijani armed forces violated the ceasefire along the contact line about 55 times on 15 May and on the night of 6 May, firing over 1,200 gunshots against Armenian defense posts from different-caliber weapons.
As reported, apart from the firearms, the Azerbaijani Armed Forces also used a 60-mm mortar (3 shells) and an anti-tank grenade launcher (9 shells). The eastern direction was subjected to a ‘SPIKE’ guided missile attack.
“The Armenian Armed Forces violated the ceasefire about 122 times within 24 hours, firing 60-mm mortars (12 shells) in different directions around the frontline,” the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry’s statement reads.