Artsakh Retaliates, Reports Azeri Casualties

Minsk Group: We Urge Azerbaijan to Accept Mechanism to Investigate Ceasefire Violations

STEPANAKERT (A.W.)—The Nagorno Karabagh Republic (NKR/Artsakh) Defense Ministry on Sept. 28 announced that its Defense Forces had responded to the aggressive actions of the Azerbaijani Army over the past week on the Armenia-Azerbaijan border. According to a statement released by the NKR Defense Ministry, Azerbaijani Armed Forces suffered more than 10 casualties and injuries. There were no casualties on the Armenian side.

Meanwhile, Armenia’s Ministry of Defense once again condemned Azerbaijan’s aggression in a statement released on Sept. 28, and warned that further escalation of violence by Azerbaijan would be detrimental to the Aliyev regime.

“Baku does not hide but instead brazenly boasts about its contemptuous undermining of international opinion and legal and humanitarian obligations. Azerbaijan’s escalation of violence on the border and incitement of the armed conflict, in essence, completely ignore the ceasefire regime, and instead employ a policy of provocation and blackmail, ultimately undermining the mediating efforts to resolve the Karabagh conflict. Despite this, Artsakh’s right for self-determination remains an irreversible fact,” read a part of the statement.

According to Azerbaijani media outlets, three Azeri servicemen were killed between Sept. 27 and 28; another serviceman was killed and three others were injured on Sept. 26. Media censorship in Azerbaijan is widespread, and the government has tight control over information disseminated within the country. Earlier this month, the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry accused certain media outlets of exaggerating the number of casualties, stating that the figures would only “serve Armenia’s interests.”

“The [ethnic] origin of some persons, who serve the Armenian interests by circulating officially unconfirmed, exaggerated, and often untrue news reports, is starting to cause suspicions,” said the ministry, hinting that the “culprits” might be of Armenian descent, according to RFE/RL. The Committee to Protect Journalists has stated that Azerbaijan is the fifth most censored country in the world.

The announcement by Armenia’s Defense Ministry came three days after four Armenian servicemen were killed in an offensive operation launched by Azerbaijan on Sept. 25. Norayr Khachatryan (b. 1995), Robert Mkrtchyan (b. 1995), Harout Hakobyan (b. 1997), and Karen Shahinyan (b. 1997) of the Artsakh Armed Forces were killed in the attack.

According to the NKR Defense Ministry, Azerbaijani forces violated the ceasefire agreement approximately 110 times on Sept. 28, using various caliber weapons, including mortars and Turkish-made TR-107 rocket launchers.

On Sept. 24, 83-year-old Parakavar resident Baydzar Aghajanyan and Berdavan residents Shushan Asatryan, 94, and Sona Revezyan , 41, were killed by Azerbaijani artillery fire that targeted Armenian border villages in Armenia’s Tavush province. Four other residents were wounded in the attack.

On Sept. 26, Armenia’s President Serge Sarkisian vowed to “expose and chase down” individuals responsible for the killings.  Sarkisian further stated that the Armenian victims were killed because the international community has failed to “make Azerbaijan understand” that a path of violence cannot bring about a peaceful resolution to the conflict.

“Lacking alternatives, we ourselves will be humanity’s retributive sword against those committing these crimes. We will do it on our own as long as the civilized world is not able to find a more effective mechanism,” said Sarkisian.


Minsk Group: We Urge Azerbaijan to Accept Mechanism to Investigate Ceasefire Violations

The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk Group Co-Chairs Igor Popov (Russia), James Warlick (U.S.), and Pierre Andrieu (France), together with the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office Ambassador Andrzej Kasprzyk, held a meeting with Foreign Minister of Armenia Edward Nalbandian on Sept. 24, and a separate meeting with the Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan Elmar Mammadyarov on Sept. 25. According to a statement released by the Minsk Group, the delegation also met jointly with Nalbandian and Mammadyarov to “discuss the immediate need to reduce tensions along the Line of Contact and international border, to advance negotiations on a lasting settlement, and to implement confidence-building measures.”

During the meeting, the Co-Chairs called on both the Presidents of Armenia and of Azerbaijan to accept an OSCE mechanism to investigate ceasefire violations.  “Without such a mechanism, the sides will continue to blame each other for initiating deadly attacks on the Line of Contact and Armenia-Azerbaijan border.  Armenia has agreed to discuss the details of the mechanism, and we urged Azerbaijan to do the same,” read a part of the statement released on Sept. 26.

“We extend our deepest condolences to the families of the deceased. An escalation of violence is not in the interest of Azerbaijanis or Armenians, or a negotiated settlement,” concluded the statement, adding, “The Co-Chairs encouraged the sides to implement people-to-people programs to build trust between societies affected by the conflict.”


Vardanyan: If Willing, Minsk Co-Chairs Have Power to Stop Innocent Deaths

On Sept. 25, Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) Parliamentary faction secretary Aghvan Vardanyan noted that the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk Group co-chairing countries had the power to reduce tension on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border and prevent the killing of innocent civilians, if they so willed and proceeded to work together accordingly.

“There are two ways of resolving this. One is to meet force with greater force, which I think our army is already doing to a degree. The second is—and I am deeply convinced of this—that if the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairing countries were willing and worked together, they could at the very least sharply reduce the tension and the instigation [of violence] by the enemy, as well as prevent the killing of innocent people.  Ahead of every meeting regarding the peaceful resolution of the Nagorno-Karabagh conflict, Azerbaijan resorts to such [violent] actions, in which case our hopes rest in the strength of our army,” Vardanyan was quoted as saying by YerkirMedia.

The OSCE Minsk Group released a statement on Sept. 25 condemning the recent attacks and “casualties on each side of the international border and Line of Contact.” In the statement, the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs expressed their “serious concern about Armenian and Azerbaijani forces using mortars and heavy weapons in and around civilian areas.” The Group steered clear of blaming Azerbaijan for the killing of the three Armenian civilian women on Sept. 25, instead opting for what observers have called the group’s habit of projecting “artificial even-handedness” and addressing their appeal to both sides to refrain from targeting civilians. It further stated that the Group was unable to determine how the violence originated “since each side accuses the other.” However, they said the countries “should work towards an OSCE investigation mechanism as discussed between the Presidents.”



  1. The Minsk group is pretty stupid to not know who initiates the conflict. Azertbaijan constantly makes threats while Armenia discusses peaceful solutions. Azertbaijan refuses the Minsk group to do any monitoring of the border while Armenia has always been open to the idea. During times of turmoil in Azertbaijan, no fighting occurs. During times of turmoil in Armenia, fighting occurs. Azertbaijan is the one who is most hostile and aggressive to Europe and mediators. I ask the Minsk group to use some logic in their judgment.

    • Norserunt, Armenian’s corruption is an obstacle in order to become a perfect country. This has nothing to do “politically” with uncle Sam. Our corrupted MPs and government officials are rubbing our beloved Armenia, and that has to stop!

  2. Noted is the abundance of criticizing comments for RoA, NK, and Russia in the threads “Four Armenian Servicemen Killed by Azerbaijani Fire” and “Three Civilians Killed, Two Injured in Azeri Attack”, and virtually no comment in this thread, which reports on Artsakh retaliation and Azeri casualties.

  3. How many innocent Armenians , and Azeris have to die,to keep this new Sultan BP- ove,in his power.This new kid in block needs to distract his own good people to ask awkward questions what is happening to easy earned mone.

  4. The question is, does the “Minsk committee” want an end to this all? Is Aliyev paying them on the quiet? I mean, how can an educated group like this not see who the real perpetrator is time and time again!

  5. Even though this provides Armenians with some degree of ‘righting a wrong’, the problem is always that it is temporary. If this is allowed to continue, Armenians in the end will emerge at the losing end of this struggle. War of attrition = they come out ahead. Thus, in the face of Azeri criminality and terrorism, the answer needs to carry with it consequences which cause permanent damage to them. Retaliating in kind, even with an answer that neutralizes them several fold, is not such an answer, it is only a temporary patch to an underlying serious threat.

    Since both the Armenian and Artsakh armies are perfectly capable of thwarting any attempted invasion, all they need to do is sit back and defend from fortified positions, and implement policies to make Aliyevstan implode.

    Focus can be spent on making their position extremely uncomfortable and calling their bluff. And actions that include “permanent consequences” as mentioned above include:

    1. Subjecting their pipelines to a perpetual state of destruction. If they have given themselves a free pass in terrorizing and murdering Armenian civilians, then why aren’t their pipelines subjected to the same, effective immediately?

    2. Expanding all the buffer zones into their own territories.

    3. After a warning, any further terrorist action would cause Armenia from withdrawing from any “negotiations”.

    4. With another warning, the recognition of Artsakh and with a strike three, the immediate annexation of Artsakh by Armenia.

    5. Making the lives of the uninvited nomads living in Armenia’s Nakhichevan a living hell, as they are doing in Tavush against Armenians.

    6. Cut off any natural resources such as free water from Armenia and Artsakh, and let them drink oil.

    Anyone feel free to add.

    Note: of course Armenia should first send a notice of intent to the “stockholders of the Azerbaijan Corporation” at the headquarters of British Petroleum, ExxonMobil, Chevron, the US State Dept and Tel Aviv as a fair warning.

    • Hagop: you make many good suggestions. But I disagree with some.

      1. Agree, with qualification. RoA can’t do it officially: sabotage teams not associated with RoA or NKR. Possibly “Islamic terrorists”.

      2. Agree. But let’s not use the term “buffer zone”. Artsakh authorities insist there are no so-called “liberated” territories (…or buffer zones).
      Only NK Republic as-is. We all need promulgate the same message.

      3. Disagree.

      4. Disagree.

      5. Agree.

      6. Agree.

    • 1. Disagree. This will put in a fume with BP and the EU. Armenia will be punished beyond measure. Agree with Avery: let ‘others’ do it.

      2. Agree. Use each case of killing and/or shelling to advance a bit into their territory. This will be explained to the mediators as a need to move their firing positions off.

      3. Not advisable. Participation in negotiations demonstrates RoA’s determination to resolve the conflict peacefully, which is generally welcomed by the international community.

      4. Not now. There will come time when this will be done expeditiously.

      5. Disagree. Nakhichevan, more than the mainland, is Turkey’s immediate concern (common border). We will give them a chance to get involved.

      6. That’s doable. Let them drink oil and petroleum derivatives. And sniff natural gas, too.

    • 1. Disagree. stopping the oil output now causes shortfalls and a rise in prices which is what Azerbaijan wants and possibly may drag in BP oil as an enemy. In full out war, then yes of course.

      2. Buffer zone: yes for sure. Its necessary for safety. Its a major detriment to the enemy. And can be used as a carrot in later negotiations without giving up any part of what we already have liberated.

      3. In reality the “negotiations’ are a joke and just a political jockeying of larger players who for some, enjoy the current frozen status. Unfortunately Armenia must follow along a negotiated path as war isn’t good. However Armenia can demand a shot direction firing mechanism in place before any further negations continue, for example. And the Azeris rejecting it will look guilty and counter productive.

      4.I believe the Armenian president already made that clear in his recent statement that ‘Artsak is an inseparable part of Armenia and can never go back’? Pretty clear to me.

      5. Armenians have a million times more morals. In the height of the Karabagh war the Armenians didn’t target civilians. Why start now. Right will always win in the end. Lets not do what Turks do. Then again in all out war, anything is possible.

      6. 100% without question. The Armenians need to rid these invaders and cutting off all resources , JUST LIKE THEY DO, is warranted. these lands do not belong to them. Neither do the resources.

      7. I think further that the Armenian side needs to always interject that Armenians do not hate the average Azeri. That needs to be said. And put blame on the regime at all times.

      8. I believe that Armenian needs to take advantage of Iran and their huge trade potential. Not only as a source of wealth but Iran having a vested interest in investments in Armenia must then protect them. Also may soften the Russian noose.

      9. Unfortunately I hate to say it but Armenia must always prepare its citizens in case of war. and we as a diaspora we need to have a plan as well.

    • Interesting perspectives, it seems you guys don’t think Armenia withdrawing from negotiations is a good idea, I guess that’s true, but I think Armenia definitely should make more demands and make the process a lot more difficult. (Artsakh recognition is related to this too).

      A note about Armenia’s resources which Azerbaijan is enjoying for free and for no good reason. International bodies like the UN are trying to make laws in this regard, about the sharing of water between borders in conjunction with “humanitarian issues”. There is no formal law forbidding any nation from cutting off water to my knowledge, only “principles”. We saw this last year when Turkey did this against Syria without thinking twice. So Armenia being in a state of war against a criminal regime, should for sure cut off all water or at least make it unpotable.

      And in regards to the pipelines and oil. True it may be prudent for Armenia not to openly do it and instead let others do it, but I just feel that in certain circumstances it may be called for. For example when they downed the helicopters, it was in my opinion a heinous crime worthy of getting such an answer because since the cease fire, this act of blatant terrorism was unprecedented.

      And with oil/gas prices, It seems to be all a game anyway and it was quite strange for oil prices to suddenly drop starting last year, and obviously a plan designed in Washington for the main purpose of crippling the Russian economy. The Saudis perhaps wanted to see US oil production decrease as well, but probably the real reason was to harm Russia.

      And John, regarding Nakhichevan. Well, the way it looks like, Azerbaijan has upped the ante by engaging in their criminality against Armenia proper from Nakhichevan too (in addition to Tavush), thus, it has to be fair game. Remember that “both” Turkey and Russia are supposedly assigned to “protect” the illegal occupation of Nakhichevan by Azerbaijan. So Turkey may try to get involved, but Russia wouldn’t sit back and watch, either. If Turkey makes any moves, it risks a confrontation with Russia.

    • {So Turkey may try to get involved, but Russia wouldn’t sit back and watch, either. If Turkey makes any moves, it risks a confrontation with Russia.}

      Then, Hagop, that’d need to be dealt with and firmly guaranteed by the Russians. Otherwise, we risk opening the second front at the time when the Russians might not be ready or willing to engage. At the moment, as you know, they’re preoccupied with the ISIS in Syria. BTW, according to the news, a day or two ago they fired 16 or so long-range cruise missiles from their combat ships stationed in the Iranian section of the Caspian Sea. All missiles hit the targets in Syria with off-target burst less than 3 yd.

    • “Interesting perspectives, it seems you guys don’t think Armenia withdrawing from negotiations is a good idea, I guess that’s true, but I think Armenia definitely should make more demands and make the process a lot more difficult. (Artsakh recognition is related to this too).”

      I could not negotiate myself out of a paper bag, but I would think pulling out of negotiations would have to be done as a last resort and when it would have the most impact. I think it’s something to be wisely given the opportunity.

      I agree with john and joe. Pulling out would be worse then continuing with the negotiations even if the negotiations is not favoring us. Being nice and cooperative is never a guarantee of favorable benefits in international politics, but pulling out in what may appear to be a temper tantrum (the Aliyevs do a lot of that) will not win us favors either.

      I like joe’s idea of demanding the gunshot locators as a condition of continuation given the Azeri belligerence is very clear. We have a good case to demand sniper pullback and installation of locators.

      “And in regards to the pipelines and oil. True it may be prudent for Armenia not to openly do it and instead let others do it, but I just feel that in certain circumstances it may be called for.”

      I think everyone agrees that if the Azeris restart the war, all bets are off and bye bye pipes. The thing is, the oil isn’t just about Azerbaijan. There are other countries attached to the other ends of those pipes. Europe and Israel. From what I’ve read here and there, Israel gets a large chunk of their oil from the Azeris. How would the other countries react? What would the consequences be for Armenia? The countries receiving the oil and gas are dependent on them.

  6. Right [John].

    There were dozens of comments in those two threads heaping criticism on RoA and NKR authorities.
    But those same posters are strangely absent in this thread.
    Clearly they read AW and read this article too.

    In view of their puzzling lack of interest in this case – evidenced by the absence of comments – vs their vocal criticism of Armenian authorities, one has to wonder:
    What are their motivations ?
    What is their agenda ?

    To remind readers of AW, here is a sampling of comments by keyboard warriors from those two threads that [John] cited:

    {“Armenia doesn t have a government….. No one knows how to run a country”}
    {“We can not expect results from political bureaucrats. Simply they are informers not solution makers. We can not rely on them nor trust them, point.”}
    {“Yerevan is being cowardly. “}
    {“I think we should fire the entire ministry of defense.”}
    {“Here’s Armenia’s response: “There will be grave consequences for their actions”. Then we’ll hear crickets…. It’s all B.S.,”}
    {“Instead of warning of the consequences, Armenian military should make a similar artillery response quickly and stronger and then release statements, unless the Russians are not letting Armenia respond, or Armenia is afraid to respond.”}

    Now that youse have seen the appropriate retaliation, where are youse hiding ?
    Don’t be shy: come out, come out wherever you are and write something.
    Why don’t youse come out and apologize for insulting the heroic military of RoA and NKR ?
    Who are at the LOC putting their lives on the line to defend Armenian lands, while you are safely in your office somewhere in the West typing away insults on your military grade keyboard.
    Whose side are youse on ?
    What is your agenda ?

    Note: Asbarez and other news media report Armenian military has KIA at least 10 Azerbaijani troops in retaliation.
    Unofficial numbers are 14 Turkic nomads KIA past couple of days.
    Also note that our 4 precious young men were killed 5 kilometers behind the LOC by a tragic, unlucky random shell fired blindly from a Turkbaijani howitzer, that randomly landed where the young men were. The 10-14 Turkbaijani troops were KIA in battle, with no losses on our side.
    Who’s is the coward ?

    Note2: The two posters who insulted Armenian military by calling them cowards and demanding they be fired need to publicly apologize.

    • I didn’t think anyone needed to get fired but I was upset we weren’t responding militarily. Anyway, I’ll say sorry.

  7. Good Response by Armenia. this “Artificial even handedness” is what’s causing these attacks in the first place. If the OSCE specifically condemned Azerbaijan or Armenia (whoever initiated the ceasefire)and not just blindly both, these attacks would happen a lot less frequently. Like some in posters had alluded to, something smells rotten with the OSCE.

  8. Thanks Norserunt.

    For the record, you are not the one who wrote “I think we should fire the entire ministry of defense….”
    Another poster wrote that.
    He should take the high road like you: we shall see.

    Latest news is that NKR military states that they have KIA around 20-22 enemy troops.
    They have the names of the 10-11 enemy troops they KIA.
    They are working to verify the names of other 10-11 enemy troops KIA.
    In addition to around 20-22 KIA, around 60-80 enemy troops are WIA.

    What is astonishing to me is that Armenian military somehow is able to determine the names of enemy KIA, because Azerbaijan authorities have completely banned their media, on pain of jail, from reporting about their casualties.

    God bless our Artsakh’s Լեռընցի warriors.
    Unconditional love and support for RoA and NKR.

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