Both the illegal regime created in the occupied Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan and the Armenian Defense Ministry are bewildered and claim that only one soldier died as a result of the recent artillery fire by the Azerbaijani army, military expert Uzeyir Jafarov told APA.
The expert stressed that the Armenian side continues to escalate the situation on the frontline, ignoring the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry’s repeated warnings.
“The retaliatory fire struck an enemy headquarters, resulting in casualties on the Armenian side. The footage released by the Defense Ministry today clearly shows that it was a precise strike that no one inside could have survived. Still, the Armenians conceal the truth about their losses. That’s easy for them, merely because Nagorno-Karabakh is too far from the Armenian capital and also it’s not allowed there to release any photo or video,” he said.
Jafarov also added that Armenians have hired mercenaries from Syria, Lebanon, and even Russia who fight for Armenia at the front line.
“The Armenians have officially admitted it themselves. All those that have fled [the war in] Syria are in the ranks of the army,” said the military expert noting that the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry has even the most trivial pieces of information about the enemy.
“Let the Armenians know that our soldiers that were martyred in February will surely be avenged. We will retaliate for it. That is going to very costly for Armenia,” he said.
Speaking to APA, the retired colonel of the Azerbaijani Army, Shair Ramaldanov, accused Armenia of hiding its military causalities.
“Armenia’s society is anxious about what’s happening at the front line. For this reason, the Armenian government is concealing the casualties since the Armenian people do know what fate awaits their soldiers in a confrontation with Azerbaijani soldiers,” he said.
The former military officer said Sargsyan’s government does not seem to be going to give up its ugly acts.
“Sargsyan had made repeated statements following the April clashes that he would soon retake the areas liberated by the Azerbaijani army. All those promises are turning out to be false,” said Ramaldanov, adding. “The situation re-escalated on the 25th and 26th of February this year. It’s normal that both sides suffer losses since they use large-caliber weapons and artillery. However, Armenia has always concealed their losses.
He recalled that on the eve of the signing of the Bishkek protocol on ceasefire—in April and May in 1994, the Armenian side suffered heavy casualties in Fuzuli.
“I was a commander there at the time. More than 500 Armenian servicemen were killed,” he said.
Ramaldanov noted that the Armenian authorities are conducting a dirty campaign ahead of the parliamentary election and trying to escalate the tension in Karabakh in order to control certain process.
The former military officer said the Azerbaijani army fully controls the operational situation on the contact line and gives an adequate rebuff to the enemy provocations by the order of Defense Minister Colonel General Zakir Hasanov.
Ramaldanov accused Armenia of settling Syrian Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh.
“Syrian Armenians are deployed to the frontline as mercenaries. It is very advantageous for Armenia because Syrian Armenians live without registration and their deaths are not interested in the Armenian society,” he said.
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.