Azerbaijani Military Post Damaged, Servicemen Killed in Response to Heavy Shelling of Armenian Positions
STEPANAKERT, Artsakh (A.W.)—In the evening of July 4, the Artsakh Ministry of Defense announced that Artsakh Defense Army forces had responded to Azerbaijan’s shelling of Armenian positions earlier in the evening. According to a statement issued by the Artsakh Ministry of Defense, the Azerbaijani side suffered human losses and a military post in the Azerbaijani village of Alghanlu was damaged.
Earlier in the evening, the Artsakh Defense Ministry announced that the Azerbaijani side had violated the ceasefire along the Artsakh-Azerbaijan Line of Contact (LoC) using TR-107 rocket launchers. In the statement, the Ministry also called for the attention of relevant international bodies regarding the incident and warned Azerbaijani forces that the response would be disproportionate.
Shortly after the incident, Azerbaijani media outlets reported that three Artsakh servicemen had been killed. The Artsakh Defense Ministry released a statement on July 5 refuting the Azerbaijani claim. “Unlike the Azerbaijani side, the Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Artsakh is committed to transparency and it regularly provides information on the incidents taking place, whereas disinformation by the adversary is directed exclusively to a domestic audience,” a part of the statement read.
In the morning of July 5, the Artsakh Defense Ministry published a video showing Azerbaijan’s use of the TR-107 rocket launcher. According to the time schedule fixed on the screen, the Armenian side began firing at 8:31 p.m. on July 4, after several fire-strikes by Azerbaijani forces.
The Ministry also released an audio recording of a conversation between members of the Azerbaijani Armed Forces, which they said proves the retaliatory fire targeted the Azerbaijani position. “Azerbaijan habitually deploys its posts inside settlements, turning civilians into human shields,” read a part of the statement, which was released along with the recording.
On July 5, spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Armenia Tigran Balayan said in a tweet that in order to prevent further Azerbaijani provocations and losses, Baku must agree to implement the Vienna and St. Petersburg agreements. “To continue provocations on the LoC, Azerbaijan’s [President] is blocking the establishment of investigation mechanism of incidents,” Balayan also tweeted.
In his annual congratulatory message to the President of the United States on U.S. Independence Day, Armenian Presdient Serge Sarkisian stressed that the active engagement of the U.S. will contribute to a lasting resolution of the Artsakh conflict. “…I cannot understate the importance of the contribution by the United States, as a co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group, to promoting peace in the southern Caucasus. I am convinced that the active engagement of the United States, alongside with the other co-chair countries—Russia and France—would contribute to the desirable outcome—a peaceful and lasting resolution to the Nagorno-Karabagh conflict,” read a part of his message.