July 12, 2020, marks one more day of Armenia’s aggression against Azerbaijan.
Armenia’s armed forces launched a massive military operation against Azerbaijan, targeting the village of Dondar Gushchu in Azerbaijan’s Tovuz district, using long-distance artillery. By this act, Armenia has once again demonstrated its aggressive and terrorist nature, and once again has proved its unpeaceable intentions.
The Armenian attack took place across the international Armenia-Azerbaijan border, far away from Azerbaijan’s Karabakh region that is illegally occupied by Armenia. The attack is the deadliest violation of the ceasefire between the two countries in years. As of this writing, it has been reported that 11 Azerbaijani servicemen and one civilian were killed as a result of Armenia’s recent military provocation.
The situation remains tense, with the Armenian army continuously shelling Azerbaijani military and civilian structures. It is worth noting that the Armenians launched their military provocation amid the COVID-19 international crisis.
By attacking Azerbaijan at the international border, it appears that Armenia intends to get the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), a military alliance with which it is a member, involved in the conflict.
The CSTO is an intergovernmental military alliance that was signed on May 15, 1992 when six post-Soviet states belonging to the Commonwealth of Independent States – Russia, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan – signed the Collective Security Treaty.
I have been to Azerbaijan’s line of contact with Armenia and the atmosphere there is tense. One never knows when the Armenian forces, who are loose on the trigger finger, will open fire and attack the Azerbaijani military.
Excerpts from the Republic of Azerbaijan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs Statement:
“On July 12, Armenia’s armed forces, using heavy artillery, attempted to attack in order to seize positions in the direction of Tovuz district, along the state border between Azerbaijan and Armenia.”
Azerbaijan retaliated, preventing an attack by the Armenian enemy forces. During the combat, three Azerbaijani army servicemen were killed and four injured.
“This provocative act of the Armenian armed forces should be seen as a continuation of the recent actions and statements of the leadership of aggressor state Armenia, which serve to increase tensions in the region.”
“Armenia, which has reflected its aggressive policy in the country’s national security strategy, openly demonstrates that it aims to seize new positions and increase tensions in the region.”
Azerbaijan wants Armenia to end the conflict and withdraw its occupying forces from Azerbaijan’s internationally recognized territories.
“This Armenian provocation casts most serious doubt on the essence of the negotiations, mediated by the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs, on the settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.”
“The international community’s position on Armenia’s aggressive policy is quite well known. Armenia bears full responsibility for this latest provocative actions that serve to aggravate the situation.”
“From this time onward, all of the Armenian enemy forces’ provocations will be adequately prevented.”
“God bless the souls of our Martyrs.”
Excerpts from the Republic of Azerbaijan Ministry of Foreign Affairs Press Service Department’s Press Release
“The Armenian armed forces’ military provocation on July 12, 2020, along the Azerbaijani-Armenian border, directed at the Tovuz district, was prevented. Though the Armenian armed forces faced adequate retaliatory strikes and all their attacks were met with appropriate countermeasures, today, the situation in the region continues to be tense.”
“Besides continuously shelling Azerbaijani communities, by using heavy weapons, the Armenian armed forces also cause serious damage to the economy, property and infrastructure.”
“As in the April 2016 events, Armenia, engaged in artillery shelling into Azerbaijan’s densely populated territories, grossly violating all fundamental norms and principles of international law, including its international humanitarian law obligations. With such actions, Armenia grossly violates international humanitarian law, including its commitment to the 1949 Geneva Conventions.”
“By continuing their aggressive policy, the Armenian leadership are attempting to strengthen the consequences of their occupation of the internationally recognized territories of Azerbaijan. Armenia is to be assured that this policy promises nothing but shame, failure and self-destruction. The Armenian leadership should not think that their actions will go unpunished. As in any case of every occupation, the Armenian occupation is temporary and the country will be held accountable for all its illegal actions.”
The head of Republic of Azerbaijan Foreign Policy Affairs Department statement
Hikmet Hajiyev is the Assistant to Ilham Aliyev, the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Head of Foreign Policy Affairs Department of the Presidential Administration.
In his statement to AZERTAC media Mr. Hajiyev said: “The provocation by Armenia, perpetrated along the border, is yet another evidence that the official Yerevan is disinterested in the negotiated settlement of the conflict.”
“Armenia’s armed forces had flagrantly violated the ceasefire.”
“Azerbaijan’s armed forces remain in control of the operational situation. The Armenian side has failed to make any territorial gains.”
“Azerbaijan’s State Border Service troops have been deployed along an extensive part of Gazakh and Tovuz districts’ Azerbaijan side of the border in order to prevent provocations and reduce events that can lead to an increased tension on the border between the two countries.”
“Armenia’s recklessness military actions pursue an objective of drawing the military-political organizations to which it is a party into the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict, and thus try evade its occupation and aggression against Azerbaijan responsibility.”
“Armenia’s aggression against Azerbaijan that has been going on for nearly 30 years and the ongoing provocations perpetrated along the border all contravene the military-political organizations legal documents, with which Armenia is a member.”
“Armenia’s leadership are attempting to distract attention from the country’s domestic problems. They aim to escalate the conflict’s situation against the backdrop of their country’s socio-economic problems, deteriorated further by the country’s COVID-19 spread, caused by incompetent performance.”
“Armenia’s leadership bears the full and sole responsibility for the current situation.”
A reminder of Armenia’s other attacks targeting Azerbaijani civilians
On February 26, 1992, Armenia brutally and deliberately targeted Azerbaijani citizens who lived along the border and near the line of contact, killing 613 civilians, including women, children and the elderly in the Azerbaijani town of Khojaly, and thus committed crimes against humanity.
In blatant violation of the UN Charter and other legal international obligations, Armenia has carried out military aggression against Azerbaijan and occupied Azerbaijan’s Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts. The UN Security Council resolutions 822, 853, 874 and 884 demand full and unconditional withdrawal of the Armenian armed forces from the occupied territories of Azerbaijan.
During April 2016, due to one other Armenian aggression, 6 Azerbaijani civilians were killed and 33 wounded, all innocent victims of the Armenian aggression.
The international community must act
Armenia launched this provocative offense during the time when the international community is fighting the COVID-19 pandemic and can hardly pay attention to this incident.
Though Armenia supports the UN Secretary-General’s initiative on a global ceasefire due to COVID-19, with this present incident and Armenia’s continued violations of the ceasefire it only proves that Armenia’s support for this initiative is nothing but lip service and hypocrisy.
Armenia’s present provocation, perpetrated along the border with Azerbaijan, is yet more evidence that Yerevan is totally disinterested in arriving at a negotiated settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict.
Azerbaijan calls upon the international community to strongly condemn Armenia’s occupation policy against Azerbaijan and its ongoing provocative actions perpetrated along the border between the two countries.
Azerbaijan is calling upon the international community to express a firm position on Armenian military units targeting the Azerbaijani civilian population and the fact that Azerbaijani civilians are victims of Armenia’s deliberate bloody provocations. Also to condemn Armenia’s illegal actions.