The conflict between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces in the border area of Tovuz on the border between two countries has been developing since July 12. Both sides have been actively employing artillery and heavy weapons and accuse each other of provoking the conflict.
The Azerbaijani military reported that Major General Gashimov Polad and Colonel Ilgar Mirzaev were killed in clashes with Armenian forces on July 14 morning. Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry said that a total of 7 personnel have been killed in the fighting. Kerim Veliyev, deputy defense minister, claimed that nearly 100 Armenian soldiers have been killed over that period.
The Armenian side denies any casualties caliming that it was successfully repelling the ‘Azerbaijani agression’. At the same time, Baku insists that Armenian forces, supposedly responsible for the escalation, also suffered casualties.
Armenian strikes on positions of Azerbaijani forces:
Azerbaijani strikes on Armenian forces:
The Turkish Defense Ministry already declared its full support to Azerbaijan, condemned the ‘Armenian agression’ and vowed to assist Baku in the ongoing military standoff. It’s expected that Turkey and Azerbaijan will expand its military cooperation and further due to the developing conflict. Ankara will also increase the supplies of military equipment and weapons to Baku.
The Collective Security Treaty Organization, a security bloc that includes Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, condemned the clashes and called on the sides to abide the ceasefire regime. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Russia is deeply concerned by the clashes.
“We are deeply concerned about the shootings on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border. We call on both sides to exercise restraint and respect their obligations under the cease-fire. Russia, as we have already stated at various levels, is ready to provide its mediation efforts for a settlement, as a co-chair of the Minsk group,” Peskov said.
The current situation on the border between Armenia and Azerbaijan is highly dangerous and may turn into the regional conflict. Both sides widely employ military propaganda instigating the confrontation and do not demonstrate signs of the readiness for any comprehensive de-escalation. Furthermore, a pro-Western foreign policy posture of the current Armenian government during the past years undermined its relations with Russia. It’s unlikely that Moscow will intervene in the conflict if there is no direct threat to the existence of the Armenian statehood. Also, Russia and Turkey, the main backer of Azerbaijan, currently have productive bilateral relations in the economic, military and diplomatic spheres. Therefore, it’s even more unlikely that Moscow would risk its joint projects with Ankara to save face of its theoretical allies in Armenia. In own turn, Azerbaijan enjoys a strong support from the Erdogan government that in the even of a full-scale military confrontation between Armenia and Azerbaijan will apparently support Baku by military means.
MORE ON THE TOPIC: