Three dead from Armenia. Aggravation on the border with Azerbaijan
The Armenian Defense Ministry reports that since early morning the Azerbaijani Armed Forces have been firing heavily at Armenian positions in the direction of Sotk settlement. In addition to small arms, mortars and drones were used. On the Armenian side three people were killed and two wounded. One of the wounded is in extremely serious condition. In the afternoon, the shelling continued towards the Armenian village of Norabak. Both settlements are located in Gegharkunik region, near Lake Sevan.
In the second half of the day the Armenian Defense Ministry announced a relative decrease in the intensity of fire. There were no significant changes until the publication of the piece.
The Armenian Foreign Ministry issued a statement condemning the “aggressive behavior of Azerbaijan”.
Davit Arutyunov, analyst on military-political issues, believes that the aggravation is conditioned by Azerbaijan’s problems in the negotiation process and the situation in the unrecognized NKR. In his opinion, “the provocation was predictable, the Armenian side should be ready for any scenario of events”.
Chronology of events according to official reports
- Since 07:50 hours on September 1, the Azerbaijani Armed Forces have been firing intensively in the direction of Armenian positions located in Sotk direction,
- At first it was reported that four servicemen were killed and one wounded,
- Starting from 12:25 the shelling started in the direction of Armenian positions located near Norabak village,
- In addition to firearms of various caliber, mortars and UAVs were used,
- By 14:15 the intensity of fire decreased,
- From 17:30, it was reported that the front line remained relatively stable,
- at 20:00 it was reported that three people had been killed.
According to the assessment of the Armenian Defense Ministry, Azerbaijan “was creating an information base for another provocation, regularly spreading disinformation”.
“Azerbaijani Armed Forces concentrating additional resources in the direction of Sotk”
Shelling of Armenian positions in the direction of Sotk
“The goal is to divert the attention of the international community.”
“The encroachments on Armenia’s territorial integrity in parallel with bellicose rhetoric and statements by the Azerbaijani side at different levels and various state media regarding claims to the sovereign territories of the Republic of Armenia represent a continuation of Baku’s aggressive policy of solving existing problems by force or threat of force, as well as imposing its will.
Against the background of targeted calls to stop the illegal blocking of the Lachin corridor and growing pressure, this provocation by Azerbaijan is also aimed at distracting the attention of the international community and avoiding the fulfillment of its obligations,” the Armenian Foreign Ministry believes.
Official Yerevan calls on the international community and actors interested in real stability in the region to “restrain the daily growing maximalism in Azerbaijan’s behavior”, through active and concrete steps “to prevent further escalation of the situation and direct Azerbaijan in a constructive direction”.
“The aggressive behavior of the Azerbaijani Armed Forces violates the principles of international law”
The Armenian Ombudsman’s Office received reports from local residents about intensive shelling by the Azerbaijani Armed Forces in the direction of Sotk and Norabak villages. Human Rights Advocate Anahit Manasyan stated that the Ombudsman’s Office is monitoring the situation and collecting facts, after which it will make an additional statement.
At this point, she stated that “the aggressive behavior of the Azerbaijani Armed Forces grossly violates the principles of international law, poses a real threat to the right to life and security of the civilian population, as well as other fundamental rights”.
“A new attack on Armenia’s sovereign territory”
Armenian Ambassador-at-Large Edmond Marukyan considers Azerbaijan’s actions in the direction of Sotk and Norabak as another encroachment on Armenia’s territory. He wrote on his X page (Twitter) that Baku’s actions “deal a direct blow to the mediation efforts of the US, France and the EU.”
“This is a direct damage to the ongoing peace negotiation process and a violation of all of Azerbaijan’s commitments. This aggression must stop immediately and the aggressor must be held accountable for ceasefire violations and all consequences.”
David Harutyunov, an analyst on military-political issues, says he “sees nothing new” in Azerbaijan’s actions:
“In the past, when negotiations reached an impasse or did not progress according to the scenario planned by Baku, Azerbaijanis resorted to provocations and military operations of varying intensity. Now again Azerbaijan has problems in the negotiation process. They are related to the official position of Yerevan that an international fact-finding group should be stationed in Nagorno-Karabakh and international security mechanisms should operate there”.
The expert recalls that currently there is an acute issue of which road to the unrecognized NKR will be opened – the Lachin corridor, connecting with Armenia, or through Aghdam, i.e. through the territory of Azerbaijan. In his opinion, Baku acts based on the fact that “the pressure it exerts on Karabakh Armenians does not give quick and expected results”.
Asked about the possibility of Azerbaijan launching large-scale military action, Arutyunov said:
“At the moment it is too early to talk about further developments. There have been many cases of such aggravations on the border in the past. Sometimes they gradually weakened, the intensity of actions decreased. But there were times when Azerbaijan then took action, as in September last year, when it provoked a large-scale clash. Both variants are possible.”
In his opinion, Armenia should follow the development of events and be ready for any scenario. He explains that “in the foreseeable future such provocations and actions by Azerbaijan will be repeated, as the goal of Baku’s military actions is to achieve concessions”.