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2016, 25 Oktyabr, çərşənbə axşamı, Bakı vaxtı 17:58

Clashes Continue On The Frontline (Updated)

Azerbaijan -- Nagorno-Karabakh`s map ( - shreenshoot)

Azerbaijan -- Nagorno-Karabakh`s map ( - shreenshoot)

Azerbaijan's Defense Ministry reporting on the number of dead and wounded said in total 31 servicemen died between April 2 and 5.

There are also reports that 4 residents were killed and 18 wounded.

Armenia reports that 29 servicemen died in combat and 101 were wounded. There are also 28 who are missing.



Speaking with the Foreign Minister of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Elmar Mammadyarov, and with the Foreign Minister of the Republic of Armenia, Edward Nalbandian concerning the situation in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict the High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini urged the immediate de-escalation of violence, an end to the targeting of civilians and strict observance of the ceasefire by all parties.

The High Representative reiterated that a large-scale conflict is in the interest of no-one. The conflict requires a comprehensive and peaceful solution, not a military one.


According to Azerbaijan's Ministry of Defense, operations on the frontline are suspended following an agreement reached between both sides.


President Aliyev reiterates Azerbaijan never had and never will shoot at civilian positions. "We are fighting on our territories, protecting our land. Our path is the right one", said President Aliyev visiting families of wounded and diseased soldiers.

"Armenians are shooting at residential areas, there are wounded among the local residents. Over 300 homes are damaged", added President Aliyev during his visit.

Azerbaijan lost 16 service men in clashes since April 2.


Armenia confirms 20 dead, 72 wounded, and 26 are missing

The Defense Ministry of Nagorno Karabakh's separatist regime issued a statement confirming 20 dead, 72 wounded and 26 servicemen missing.

The statement also confirms destruction of 7 tanks, and loss of 8 strategic heights to the north and south.


Azerbaijan's Defense Ministry warns

In a statement issued April 4, Ministry of Defense in Azerbaijan says Armenia's Armed Forces are firing at residential buildings along the frontline out of revenge for losing control over some of the territories taken by the Armed Forces of Azerbaijan two days ago.

"Azerbaijan is calling on Armenia to stop using violence against peaceful residents, while respecting international laws", reads the statement.

In case this is not stopped, Azerbaijan will inflict devastating blows over Khankendi and other occupied residential areas as ordered by the Minister of Defense.

Armenia refutes Azerbaijan's claims of attacking residential units.

In addition Azerbaijan side reports of one Aghdam resident dying from the shooting and two residents of Tartar getting wounded.


In a video posted on the website of Azerbaijan's Ministry of Defense, it reports that Armenia's commanding post on the occupied territories was destroyed in a retaliatory fire.

The Ministry also reports of heavy losses on Armenian side.


Responding to the statements of Armenia's Defense Ministry that Azerbaijan lost control over reoccupied territories, Vagif Dargahli, chief of media relations at the Ministry of Defense said Azerbaijan continues to control regained territories. "We have not lost any positions and Azerbaijan's Armed Forced maintains full control over operating conditions.


3 more servicemen die

April 4, Azerbaijan's Ministry of Defense issues a statement where it reports of losses of three more servicemen from Azerbaijan.

"Despite the ceasefire, in attempt to return lost positions, Armenians continue attacking our positions in the direction of Aghdere-Tartar and Khojavend-Fuzuli. Homes near the frontline are being heavily shot."

The statement also says Azerbaijan lost three more servicemen as a result of the continuing fighting.

Earlier Azerbaijan was reported to lose 12 soldiers, while Armenia 18.


Tensions continue in Agdere and Terter

Spokesperson for Azerbaijan's Ministry of Defense says although situation has stabilized in Fizuli/Khajavend direction, the tensions remain in Aghdere and Terter.


Ceasefire violated

Azerbaijan's Ministry of Defense responds to claims that Azerbaijan lost some of the territories it returned yesterday. "The information that the strategic peak around Talish village was taken back by the Armenians is not true", said chief of Defense Ministry's media department Vagif Dargahli adding that Azerbaijan's army continues to control the strategic heights in Talish village as well as other returned territories.

Spokesperson also noted that the situation on the front line is tense and that the ceasefire was violated again.

According to the spokesperson currently fighting continues in three directions- Fuzuli, Talish, and Aghdam.

Dargahli also said Azerbaijani army downed one of Armenia's drones.


Following his visit to Washington D.C., President Aliyev returns to Azerbaijan to issue the following statement on the violation of ceasefire and outbreak of new violence on the frontline:


Ukraine -- Mikhail Saakashvili, ex-president of Georgia, Head of Odessa administration

Ukraine -- Mikhail Saakashvili, ex-president of Georgia, Head of Odessa administration

Mikhail Saakashvili, former president of Georgia does not overrule Moscow's involvement in the outbreak of fighting. "Neither Armenia, nor Azerbaijan needs a war. What is happening these days looks like Russia's provocation against Azerbaijan and Turkey. And it also damages Armenia", said former president on his personal Facebook page.

"Moscow has been preparing for this for a long time now. For a while now, Russia was militarizing the two sides. In recent years, Russia even built a road from Dagestan to Georgia. This road, also allows Russia to intervene in Azerbaijan. By provoking the conflict, Russia has its own strategic interests. These are to intervene and damage areas where Azerbaijan's oil and gas pipelines are going through (let us not forget that in 2008, it was these locations that were attacked severely by Russia) in order to deprive Europe of using Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan as alternative energy hubs.


According to BBC Azerbaijan service, in response to Azerbaijan's Ministry of Defense ceasefire announcement, the separatists said, "the Karabakh Defense Army will only come to terms on the ceasefire, once its previous territories are restored".

The statement comes amid Azerbaijan's Defense Ministry reports of returning the following territories:

- "Lele Tepe" peak in Fizuli rayon

- Peaks in Goranboy and Naftalan rayons

These peaks were completely cleaned from the Armenian forces said the statement issued April 2.



Azerbaijan Ministry of Defense decides to cease military operations. The decision comes following international calls and the country's commitment to peaceful policies. In the meantime, the ministry reported the only military involvement and actions that will take place are going to be around liberated territories and lands.

In case of violations from the Armenian side the Ministry did say it will return fire.


United States Condemns Ceasefire Violations

"The United States condemns in the strongest terms the large-scale ceasefire violations along the Nagorno-Karabakh Line of Contact, which have resulted in a number of reported casualties, including civilians. We extend our condolences to all affected families. We urge the sides to show restraint, avoid further escalation, and strictly adhere to the ceasefire. The unstable situation on the ground demonstrates why the sides must enter into an immediate negotiation under the auspices of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs on a comprehensive settlement of the conflict."

"We reiterate that there is no military solution to the conflict. As a co-chair country, the United States is firmly committed to working with the sides to reach a lasting and negotiated peace."


Ministry of Defense spokesman Colonel Vagif Dargahli says, "In comparison to last night and today, currently the situation at the frontline is stable".


Azertac reports that Security Council under the President met today (April 2).


Speaking on the phone with President of Belarus, President Aliyev said, "Azerbaijan's Armed Forces prevented another provocation by the Armenian side and protected our positions, responding to the other side in a suitable manner".


"It is a mistake to think Moscow is the primary actor"

In a phone interview with AzadliqRadiosu, Thomas de Waal, senior associate with Carnegie Europe, specializing in Eastern Europe and the Caucasus region and author of the book "Black Garden: Armenia and Azerbaijan Through Peace and War" said, he is skeptical of Moscow's role in the fresh outbreak of violence. "I am skeptical that Russia can organize violence on the ceasefire line. Obviously it looks a bit curious to say the least that the president is in Washington and suddenly fighting breaks out on the ground and Kremlin calls for peace. I think we should be a little cautious about that, because both Armenian and Azerbaijani military are very independent and don’t like to be pushed around by Moscow."

"Personally I think it is a mistake to think that Moscow is the primary actor. I think Armenia and Azerbaijan are the primary actors in this conflict and Moscow is strong secondary actor. But it is not running the show."

Waal also described the escalation as "a really bad incident" and "a really bad breakdown of ceasefire" that observers were fearing for some time. "The problem is that the line of contact is so militarized now – there is all these heavy weaponry on either side, including air crafts, drones, and helicopters being used- that a lot of destruction can be done very quickly", he said.

Speaking on the role of the OSCE Minsk Group, Waal said, they are "no longer so powerful".

"Basically they work at the pleasure of President of Armenia and Azerbaijan. They try to manage the ceasefire, and organize meetings between the presidents but they are certainly not running the show".

"Obviously the people who can make the difference are in Washington and in Moscow in particular."

"But even there, it is actually very hard - when the military operation is down on the ground- bringing third parties to stop things on the ground. There are only 6 OSCE monitors in the region, there are no peacekeepers, and so it is incredibly hard to stop things on the ground. The only thing to do is political pressure which is obviously easier from Moscow. But even there as Karabakh is number one national issue, both for Armenia and Azerbaijan they don’t always listen to Moscow. They think it doesn’t suit their national interests."

The author of the Black Garden also said what needs to happen for the status quo to change is "a bigger political intervention" involving cooperation between Moscow and Washington. "You need to agree who has the peacekeepers and that's much harder for Washington and Moscow to agree on now than it was years ago".


In a statement issued by the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry, said six Armenian tanks were destroyed and more than 100 Armenian servicemen killed and injured.

During an extraordinary meeting of the National Security Council, Armenia's president Serzh Sargsyan said, 18 soldiers were killed and 35 wounded reports

According to BBC Azeri reports, Azerbaijan took back two strategically important villages from Armenian army, a claim denied by Armenia.

In the meantime, the Nagorno-Karabakh military said it had shot down one of Azerbaijan’s helicopters. Although Azerbaijan at first denied the claim, it was later confirmed.


Balance Of Power - Armenia and Azerbaijan

Balance Of Power - Armenia and Azerbaijan


EU Foreign Policy chief Federica Mogherini worried by reports

"I call on the parties to stop fighting immediately and observe the ceasefire. The sides must show restraint and avoid any further actions or statements that could result in the escalation", said Mogherini.

"The European Union deplores the loss of life, in particular the reports of civilian casualties and deaths."

Belgium -- EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini

Belgium -- EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini

"The European Union fully supports the efforts of the OSCE Minsk Group and the three Co-Chairs. We expect both sides to respect strictly the ceasefire, refrain from the use of force and resume efforts towards a peaceful resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict."


Co-Chairs to meet in Vienna

Minsk Group co-chairs are scheduled to meet in Vienna April 4.

Earlier today, the Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group (Ambassadors Igor Popov of the Russian Federation, James Warlick of the United States of America, and Pierre Andrieu of France) expressed their grave concern over the reported large-scale ceasefire violations along the Line of Contact in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone.

"We strongly condemn the use of force and regret the senseless loss of life, including civilians."

The Co-Chairs urged the two sides "to stop shooting and take all necessary measures to stabilize the situation on the ground."



Moscow's games

Speaking to AzadliqRadiosu political scientist Zardusht Alizade said the escalations on the frontline are games played by Moscow. "There is a very simple explanation to what is happening on the frontline. Whenever Azerbaijan takes a step towards the West, Moscow and puppet Armenia's political-military leadership creates some kind of diversion. It would be foolishness to blame Azerbaijan for that. Especially when the chief commander is not in the country".

Similar operations took place when President Aliyev traveled to Brussels to meet NATO Secretary General. "And now we are seeing the same thing happen again. Each time there is an attempt to show some independence, Azerbaijan's and Armenia's Moscow supervisors show their place immediately. Which basically means "War starts tomorrow, we will crush you".


Azerbaijan Ministry of Defense confirms deaths of 12 soldiers.


April 2, in a statement Azerbaijan Defense Ministry said all of the country's positions on the frontline were under heavy shelling the night of April 2.

The most tense areas on the frontline are Aghdere, Tartar, Aghdam, Khojavend, and Fuzuli.

Russia, which sells arms to both Armenia and Azerbaijan, has called for an immediate ceasefire and to exercise restraint.

In the meantime, Azerbaijan denied reports that Armenian anti-aircraft weapons brought down an Azerbaijani helicopter.

One man was reported killed. According to a shell hit a house in Tartar's village of Garagaci killing an internally displaced Jalal Rahimov and wounding his Orkhan Rahimov. Orkhan's both legs were reported to have blown off as a result.

Casualties on the Armenian side include a 12 year-old boy who was killed and two wounded.

Armenia's Ministry of Defense said casualties will grow as long as clashes continue.

The fresh outbreak of violence came as the presidents of both Azerbaijan and Armenia, Ilham Aliyev and Sarkisian, were winding up visits to the United States.

Just hours before the fighting broke out, Aliyev and Sarkisian met jointly with U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, who called on the South Caucasus leaders to peacefully settle the protracted dispute.

On March 30, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry called for an "ultimate resolution" to the conflict during talks in Washington with Aliyev.