Azerbaijani forces, once again, opened fire on Armenian positions in Yeraskh, two days after 38-year-old Armenian soldier Samvel Alaverdyan was killed by Azerbaijani forces there.
Armenia’s Defense Ministry reported Friday that the Azerbaijani forces began shooting at Armenian positions in Yeraskh at 11 a.m. local time, adding that Armenia’s Armed Forces took the necessary counteroffensive measures.
Yeraskh, which is located near the Armenia-Azerbaijan border in the Ararat Province, borders Nakhichevan, from where the shots were fired.
“Our residents, thank God, have a strong will and is ready at any moment to stand by our soldier if need be,” Yeraskh community leader Radik Oghikyan told RFE/RL’s Armenian Service on Friday.
In this uncertain climate, Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry announced that it would open another military station in occupied Agdam on the border of Artsakh, the third such facility in the last month and a half.
“In order to organize military command and service at the highest caliber, a modular military station has started operations in Agdam,” announced the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry.
Azerbaijan’s military leadership also announced that since the conclusion of military operations from the 44-day war, 20 new military stations have been established in territories surrendered to Azerbaijan as a result of the November 9 agreement.
As Azerbaijan continues to illegally station its troops—1,000 by official accounts—on Armenia’s sovereign territory in the Gegharkunik and Syunik provinces, the country’s president, Ilham Aliyev, threatened Armenia on Wednesday saying that Yerevan must “come to its senses” and sign a peace agreement with Azerbaijan.
Artsakh’s Human Rights Defender Gegham Stapanyan said in a Facebook post on Friday that Aliyev’s statement were fraught with irreversible consequences and “endangers the fundamental rights and freedoms of the people of Artsakh—first and foremost their security, life, and dignity.”
“The international community must finally realize that there can simply be no peaceful co-existence with a people who for years have been nourished by an indescribable ‘poison’ of Armenophobia; who a few months ago committed the most heinous war crimes, targeting almost all the civilian settlements and population of Artsakh; tortured and inhumanely treated Armenian prisoners of war and the bodies of the killed servicemen,” said Stepanyan, who emphasized that the Karabakh conflict is far from having been resolved.