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The tension escalates: Armenia and Azerbaijan resumed the battles on the border

MOSCOW, (BM) – The Azerbaijani Defense Ministry reported on Thursday about the ongoing tension in the Tovuz direction of the Azerbaijani-Armenian border and the resumption of fightings, learned BulgarianMilitary.com.

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“Starting from the morning of July 16, the Armenian Armed Forces again made an attempt to attack the positions of the Azerbaijani army on the section of the Azerbaijani-Armenian border in the Tovuz region,” the statement said.

According to the defense department, the villages of Agdam, Dondar Gushchu and Vahidli were fired from large-caliber weapons and mortars, and there were no casualties among the civilian population.

“At present, there is a battle in this direction. The operational situation is under the control of the Azerbaijani army,” the Defense Ministry said in a statement.

In turn, the Ministry of Defense of Armenia reported that the Azerbaijani units tried to commit sabotage, after which they began to shell the border villages of Aygepar and Movses.

“At about 03:40, the Armenian armed forces prevented an attempt to sabotage the enemy. After the fighting, the enemy was thrown back after suffering losses. Then at 05:20, Azerbaijani units using the D-30 howitzer began shelling the villages of Aygepar, Movses. The fire is still ongoing,” said Shushan Stepanyan, spokeswoman for the republic’s Ministry of Defense, on Facebook.

The situation on the northern part of the Armenian-Azerbaijani border escalated on July 12. Azerbaijan announced an attempt by the Armenian Armed Forces to attack the positions of the republic’s army using artillery, while in Yerevan they called the reason for the exacerbation of the breakthrough attempt from the Azerbaijani side.

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In Baku, reported the eleven dead of the Azerbaijani army in three days of clashes, including Major General Polad Hashimov. Yerevan claimed the death of four and injured ten soldiers.

The Azerbaijani Armed Forces on the morning of July 13 resumed shelling of Armenian positions on the state border in the direction of the Tavush region of Armenia, spokesman for the Ministry of Defense of the Republic Shushan Stepanyan said.

“After a two-three-hour break in the morning [Monday, July 13], the enemy resumed provocative actions, continuing shelling at Armenian positions. The Armenian Armed Forces gave an adequate response. An increase in losses in the ranks of the Azerbaijani Armed Forces is not excluded,” the representative of the Armenian military department wrote on her Facebook page.

The press service of the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry told RIA Novosti on the night of July 13 that the Armenian military was shelling a village on the border.

At the same time, Stepanyan noted that shelling with varying intensity is carried out from the Azerbaijani side, but all attempts are neutralized.

The Azerbaijani Defense Ministry reported on the afternoon of July 12 that units of the Armenian Armed Forces tried to attack the positions of the Azerbaijani army in the Tovuz direction of the border using artillery.

According to the military, after that, a battle ensued. According to Baku, the enemy suffered losses and retreated. The ministry said that two Azerbaijani soldiers were killed in the battle, five were injured. Later, another soldier died from the wounds received.

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In turn, Shushan Stepanyan, quoted by Interfax, said that the Azerbaijani Armed Forces at around 12:30 on July 12 attempted to violate the state border in the Tavush direction in an UAZ car. According to her, after the warning of the Armenian side, the enemy left the car and returned to its positions.

“At 13:45, the Azerbaijani Armed Forces, using artillery fire, tried to seize our stronghold, but were thrown back from their positions by fire, bearing casualties,” the spokeswoman said.

According to the Minister of Defense of Armenia David Tonoyan, the military on the border with Azerbaijan is ordered to be restrained.

As Shushan Stepanyan wrote on her Facebook, he made the corresponding statement in a conversation with the personal representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office. As noted by Tonoyan, in case of provocation, the Armenian military will react as necessary, “until the occupation of new favorable positions.”

Azerbaijan and Armenia have been in conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh since February 1988, when the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region announced its withdrawal from the Azerbaijan SSR.

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During the armed conflict in 1992-1994, the Azerbaijani side lost control of Nagorno-Karabakh and the seven areas adjacent to it. Since 1992, negotiations have been conducted within the framework of the OSCE Minsk Group on a peaceful settlement of the conflict. The group is led by co-chairs – Russia, USA and France.

In 1994, Azerbaijan, Armenia and the unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, through the mediation of Russia, signed the Bishkek Armistice Protocol. At the same time, military operations did not stop there, which periodically renewed.

The most significant exacerbation of the conflict was the four-day war of 2016. Then hundreds of soldiers on both sides became victims.

Shortly before the next aggravation, the foreign ministers of Azerbaijan and Armenia agreed to hold regular talks on Karabakh in the form of a video conference.

But Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev at the beginning of this month said that these videoconferences “do not matter” and that “the negotiation process is not ongoing.”

“This only means that the OSCE Minsk Group is in action. Ok, so far? Being in action does not mean being effective, ”Aliyev said in an interview with local reporters.

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Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, during a meeting with the President of Azerbaijan last year, called for a rhetoric that would go against the fundamental principles endorsed by both sides and enshrined in the UN Charter and the Helsinki Final Act when resolving the situation around Nagorno-Karabakh.

At the same time, the head of the Russian Foreign Ministry admitted that much more needs to be done to achieve a long-term political settlement.

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