YEREVAN (Arka)—The latest escalation of violence in the conflict zone between Artsakh and Azerbaijan is due to Baku’s failure in peace negotiations, Artsakh’s Minister of Defense and Commander-in-Chief, Lieutenant-General Movses Hakobyan said.
The minister said Azerbaijani forces undertook a number of offensive operations from July 28 to August 3, attacking Karabakh positions openly on August 1-2 and on August 2-3. According to the reports, over 25 Azerbaijani and five Armenian troops were killed.
This means Azerbaijan is trying to destabilize the situation in the region, having failed in the negotiation process, the minister said in his interview with Artsakh TV. (http://www.artsakh.tv/am/news/show/6508)
The minister said the frontline divisions of the Artsakh Defense Army repelled the enemy back to their initial positions and carried out certain punitive actions to convince Azerbaijan that the steps it takes are a way back to the events of 1992-1994 and to May 12, 1994, when the defeated Azeri army proposed a ceasefire.
According to Hakobyan, another reason for Azerbaijan’s recent active military efforts is the newly appointed minister of defense Zakir Hasanov, who is attempting to establish authority.
The Republic of Armenia’s Defense Ministry said Monday that the Azerbaijani side has been pushed back with heavy losses and that all the shootings have been silenced.
“Unfortunately the Armenian side has had losses, too,” a statement from the Armenian Defense Ministry says.
“The Republic of Armenia MoD expresses its condolences to relatives of all the soldiers who have dedicated their lives to their fatherland and calls on the Armenian people to keep them in their memories, and to remember those due to whom our enemy suffered major losses.
“The RA MoD regrets the loss of lives on both sides, the responsibility of which is with the military policy of Azerbaijan. As usual it is obvious that the lives of the soldiers mean nothing for the Azerbaijani authorities.
“The RA MoD reminds that the actions of the Azerbaijani Armed Forces contradict the spirit and logic of the conflict settlement negotiations that are held under the guidance of the OSCE Minsk Group. It also calls on the Azerbaijani side to refrain from situations which can escalate violence. Any case of ceasefire violation will be punished severely,” reads the statement of the Armenian Defense Ministry.