Azeris Fire into Armenia, Karabagh, Violating Ceasefire


droshSTEPANAKERT (ArmeniaNow) — After several months of relative peace, tensions are again rising at the Armenian-Azerbaijani border as well as along the line of contact with Azerbaijan in Nagorno-Karabagh.

According to the data of the NKR Defense Army, in the period of July 19-25, the Azerbaijani side violated the ceasefire regime about 900 times, firing more than 12,000 shots.

The advanced forces of the Karabagh Defense Army reportedly returned fire taking steps to provide the protection of military positions.

Meanwhile, the Defense Ministry of Armenia also reports that tensions since last week have been high at the Tavush region border with Azerbaijan.

According to Azerbaijani websites, the Azerbaijani army has at least one victim and eight wounded. Although they also report about casualties suffered by the Armenian side, neither the Defense Army of Karabagh, nor the Defense Ministry of Armenia has confirmed the information.

After a tense situation in January, there was a period of relative calm in the Karabagh conflict zone, which according to experts, was connected with the approaching European Games that were held in Baku last month, but there was also concern that after the Games tensions could reignite.

Late last week Armenia’s Defense Minister Seyran Ohanyan called on the Azerbaijani side to stop violence, which was followed by more threats from Baku. “We have to remind Seyran Ohanyan about the might of the Azerbaijani soldier and do it in the near time,” an Azerbaijani Defense Ministry statement said. Some observers took it as Azerbaijan’s intention to take more aggressive steps against Armenian forces in Nagorno-Karabagh and Armenia proper.

Political analyst Levon Shirinyan said that he thinks that now Azerbaijan has adopted a strategy of a “long war.”

“The aim of it is that outmigration intensifies from Armenia or at least keep that it should be maintained at the current level, to cause a tense situation in the borderline, depriving Armenia and Artsakh of the opportunity of cultivating land in border zone,” the analyst told reporters on Saturday, adding that Azerbaijan cannot win with frontline attacks in conditions of at the existence of the highly professional Armenian army.