Azerbaijani troops have neutralized at least 2,300 Armenian soldiers since Sunday, when border clashes broke out with Armenian forces targeting Azerbaijani civilian settlements and military positions. In a statement, the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry said the Armenian soldiers were either killed or wounded in counterattacks launched to liberate occupied Azerbaijani territories.
It also said some 200 tanks and armored vehicles, at least 230 artillery and missile systems, around 30 air defense systems, six command and observation areas, five ammunition depots, around 50 anti-tank guns, 110 cars and a Russian S-300 missile system were destroyed between Sept. 27-30.
An Armenian battalion serving under the 1st Army Command which was deployed in Tonashen village in Tartar district abandoned its position and fled with heavy losses, the ministry said.
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The ministry also said the Armenian army used the Tochka-U, a Soviet high-precision tactical ballistic missile, against Azerbaijani forces. “Due to the unsuitability and poor quality of the enemy’s military equipment, three of the missiles fired did not explode,” said the statement.
Also, Azerbaijan’s forces hit another Armenian battalion serving under the 1st Army Command deployed in the Aghdara region. Earlier, the ministry said Armenia targeted Azerbaijan’s Tartar city with artillery Wednesday morning.
Infrastructure suffered damage in the region, while no civilians were injured in the attacks, it said. The ministry said in a separate statement that the Azerbaijani army captured the battle flag of an assault battalion of the Armenian army.
“The battle flag and documents of the 193rd separate assault battalion, which arrived to support the 6th defeated mountain rifle regiment of the Armenian army, have today been intercepted during the fighting in the Aghdara (Madagiz) direction,” Azerbaijan’s Ministry of Defense told Azertac, the country’s state news agency.
The Azerbaijani army hit the command area of the 41st regiment of the 18th motorized division of the Armenian Armed Forces, it said. “The command of the Armenian forces in this region was completely destroyed. There are many dead and wounded among military personnel. Regiment command asks for help to evacuate the wounded,” Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry added.
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The Azerbaijani army also besieged Armenian forces in the Aghdara-Tartar area, the ministry said. It added that the 4th Battalion of the Armenian Armed Forces moving towards Fuzuli district was brought under intense shelling.
As a result of the attacks, “the enemy suffered heavy losses in terms of manpower and military equipment,” it said. Meanwhile, the Armenian army also targeted the Azerbaijani village of Ashagi Agjakend in Goranboy district with artillery shelling.
The armed forces of #Armenia have continued to target civilian settlements in Azerbaijan during attacks on Azerbaijani positions stationed on the border in the western Tovuz district.#KarabakhisAzerbajian #StopArmenianOccupation pic.twitter.com/zfvZgkregd
— Tural Isabayli (@IsabayliTural) July 17, 2020
Azerbaijani forces will effectively respond to prevent attacks on civilian settlements, Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry said. Azerbaijan’s parliament declared a state of war Sunday in some cities and areas following Armenia’s border violations and attacks in the occupied Upper Karabakh, or Nagorno-Karabakh region.
Azerbaijan declared a partial military mobilization Monday. Since Armenia’s attacks Sunday, tensions have continued to escalate, with Turkey firmly standing with Azerbaijan.
Upper Karabakh conflict
Relations between the two former Soviet nations have been tense since 1991, when the Armenian military occupied Upper Karabakh, an internationally recognized territory of Azerbaijan. Four UN Security Council and two UN General Assembly resolutions as well as many international organizations demand the withdrawal of the occupying forces.
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The OSCE Minsk Group — co-chaired by France, Russia, and the US — was formed in 1992 to find a peaceful solution to the conflict, but to no avail. A cease-fire, however, was agreed upon in 1994. The EU, Russia and NATO, among others, have urged an immediate halt to clashes along the frontier.
Anadolu with additional input by GVS News Desk