Nagorno-Karabakh conflict: Armenian military resorted to numerous provocations in 2016
- 31 December 2016
Armenian armed forces violated the ceasefire a total of 21,611 times along the line of contact between Azerbaijani and Armenian troops in 2016.
The Armenian army shattered the ceasefire 3702 times in January 2016, 3491 times in February, 3746 times in March, 3597 times in April, 2475 times in May, 655 times in June, 370 times in July, 467 times in August, 460 times in September, 599 times in October, 733 times in November and 1316 times in December, according to the results of the APA’s monitoring based on the reports confirmed by the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry.
The Armenian military was using 60, 82 and 120mm-caliber mortars, grenade launchers, heavy machine guns and 122mm-caliber D-30 howitzers to shell Azerbaijani positions.
In 2016, Armenian armed forces shelled the Azerbaijani army positions located in the districts of Aghdam, Fuzuli, Jabrayil, Terter, Khojavend, Goranboy, Gazakh, Gadabay, Tovuz, Goygol, Aghstafa as well as in the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic. The ceasefire was most violated at Karabakh front.
Armenian armed units attempted to commit numerous provocations on the contact line of troops and at Azerbaijan’s state border. All the provocations of Armenia were prevented, the enemy forces were forced to retreat after suffering heavy losses. The manpower, military equipment and infrastructure units of Armenian armed forces were destroyed as a result of the offensive by Azerbaijani troops after defining the coordinates of the enemy's forefront and rear.
In January 2016, the Azerbaijani army took control of the Odundag commanding ground located between Azerbaijan's Gazakh district and Armenia's Noyemberyan settlement. The commanding ground was strengthened from a tactical point of view and through engineering works.
In early April, all the frontier positions of Azerbaijan were subjected to heavy fire from the Armenian side, which used large-caliber weapons, mortars and grenade launchers.
The armed clashes resulted in deaths and injuries among the Azerbaijani population. Azerbaijan responded with a counter-attack, which led to liberation of several strategic heights and settlements.
As a result of the counteroffensive, the heights near the village of Talish, which were posing a threat to the Goranboy district and Naftalan city, as well as the Seysulan settlement, were cleared of the enemy forces. In order to protect the city of Horadiz, the Azerbaijani army took the height 'Lale Tepe' under its control, which allowed carrying out supervision of a large area.
During the April fighting, the Azerbaijani army liberated more than 2,000 hectares of the country’s territory from the Armenian occupation. At the same time, a command post of the Armenian army was destroyed with accurate strikes by the Azerbaijani military, as a result of which high-ranking Armenian military officials, including colonels and general were killed.
Armenia’s Defense Ministry said nearly 100 Armenian soldiers were killed during the four-day war in April. However, according to the Armenian media and social networks, more than 300 Armenian soldiers were killed and 500 others were wounded during the April fighting.
A large number of documents, communication devices and other things were seized from the retreating enemy as a result of the counter-offensive by the Azerbaijani army following the provocation of the Armenian side on the contact line of the troops in early April.
In 2016, the Azerbaijani armed forces shot down nine unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) belonging to the Armenian side. Moreover, the Armenian military mistakenly shot down its own two UAVs this year.
The Azerbaijani armed forces fully control the operational situation along the contact line of troops.
The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict entered its modern phase when the Armenian SRR made territorial claims against the Azerbaijani SSR in 1988.
A fierce war broke out between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan. As a result of the war, Armenian armed forces occupied some 20 percent of Azerbaijani territory which includes Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent districts (Lachin, Kalbajar, Aghdam, Fuzuli, Jabrayil, Gubadli and Zangilan), and over a million Azerbaijanis became refugees and internally displaced people.
The military operations finally came to an end when Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement in Bishkek in 1994.
Dealing with the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is the OSCE Minsk Group, which was created after the meeting of the CSCE (OSCE after the Budapest summit held in Dec.1994) Ministerial Council in Helsinki on 24 March 1992. The Group’s members include Azerbaijan, Armenia, Russia, the United States, France, Italy, Germany, Turkey, Belarus, Finland and Sweden.
Besides, the OSCE Minsk Group has a co-chairmanship institution, comprised of Russian, the US and French co-chairs, which began operating in 1996.
Resolutions 822, 853, 874 and 884 of the UN Security Council, which were passed in short intervals in 1993, and other resolutions adopted by the UN General Assembly, PACE, OSCE, OIC, and other organizations require Armenia to unconditionally withdraw its troops from Nagorno-Karabakh.