Fragile ceasefire on Armenian-Azerebaijani border broken, fighting resumes
Gunfire has once again broken out on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border on the night of July 16.
Despite the fact that just the day before, the Defense Ministries of both countries announced that the situation had become relatively calm, by the next morning, news broke that the ceasefire had been broken.
More details about the situation on the border from both the Armenian and Azerbaijani perspective, five days since the escalation started.
Information from Yerevan
“At about 03:40 a.m., the officers on duty at the Armenian Armed Forces combat posts noticed that the enemy was moving. Using perimeter defense tactics, the Armenian units prevented an attempted sabotage by Azerbaijani soldiers in order to penetrate into Armenian territory. After an intense battle, the enemy, having suffered losses, were pushed back,” reported the press secretary of the Armenian Ministry of Defense on the morning of July 16.
Shushan Stepanyan also wrote on her Facebook page that starting at 05:20, Azerbaijani units began shelling the border villages of Aygepar and Movses, using D-30 howitzers. There are no new casualties reported among Armenian military members.
Later, information came out that the Armenian base in Tavush had been attacked during the night by an Azerbaijani special forces unit Jasper, consisting of 100 people and artillery. During the fighting, the Armenian military knocked out an enemy tank.
The governor of the Tavush region Hayk Chobanyan also confirmed the attempted sabotage from the Azerbaijani side. On his Facebook page, he wrote:
“Dear residents of Tavush, I ask you to exercise extreme caution, and to hide in bunkers and shelters.”
By ten in the morning, former Defense Ministry spokeswoman Artsrun Hovhannisyan, who is coordinating the unified information center for the Tavush region, has now announced that the tension on the border has subsided.
“The enemy has definitely suffered casualties,” Hovhannisyan wrote on his Facebook page.
Armenia denies shot-down drone
Armenian Defense Ministry denies reports of Azerbaijani Armed Forces shooting down an X-55 drone.
“We do not use that model of drones in the Armenian armed forces. This is how the enemy is trying to write off their own losses,” wrote Stepanyan.
Ombudsman: “The civilian population being held at gunpoint”
Armenian Ombudsman Arman Tatoyan published photos of shells and shell fragments that fell on nearby villages
“We have all the evidence to confirm targeted shooting at villages. Falling shells explode into various small fragments, each of which can kill and cripple people. I’m not talking about simple property damage,” said the human rights defender.
That day, the governor of the Tavush region reported that there were no wounded or dead among the civilian population.
In the afternoon, military expert Artsrun Hovhannisyan said that “a resident of the village of Chinari Aramais Hovakimyan was wounded from an attack by an Azerbaijani drone.”
The Prime Minister of Armenia has already ordered an evaluation of the material damage caused to the border settlements due to shelling by Azerbaijan.
Statements from the Armenian side
In the afternoon, the press secretary of the Ministry of Defense Shushan Stepanyan posted on her Facebook page:
“Given the ceasefire and the fact that the Azerbaijani Armed Forces agreed to create the same favorable conditions, the Armenian side is ready to allow both sides to search the conflict zone and remove the bodies of the dead and wounded from the battlefield.”
That afternoon, she once again wrote a post on social media that Azerbaijan, after violating the ceasefire and resuming hostilities, is once again conducting drone strikes, including in the villages:
“We issue this warning: by morning, the number of Azerbaijani losses may increase dramatically.”
Information from Baku
After a relatively good night on the border between Azerbaijan and Armenia, active hostilities on both sides again resumed this morning.
The Ministry of Defense of Azerbaijan reported that an X-55 tactical unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) from the Armenian army was found flying over an Azerbaijani base and destroyed. The aircraft was trying to make a reconnaissance flight.
At the same time, the country’s military department denied the enemy’s reports about a wrecked Azerbaijani tank and the destruction of 13 Azerbaijani army drones.
When answering journalists’ questions about the possible Armenian attack on the Mingachevir reservoir, the head of the press service of the Ministry of Defense of Azerbaijan, Colonel Vagif Dargyakhly, made a very shocking statement: “Armenia should not forget that the latest missile systems in the arsenal of the Azerbaijani Armed Forces are capable of delivering a precise blow to the Metsamor Nuclear Power Plant, which would be a disaster for Armenia.”
The colonel also added that the relief of the area on which the Mingachevir reservoir is located, the work to fortify this facility, as well as air defense equipment in the arsenal of the Azerbaijani army, will make it impossible to strike at this strategic building.
During the battle, Nazim Ismailov, an extended service soldier from the Azerbaijani army, was killed. He became the twelfth soldier of the Azerbaijani army to die in battle on the border with Armenia.