World, Azerbaijan Front Line

Azerbaijan: Operations continue to free occupied lands

Armenian army's senior commanders, artillery equipment, mortars, military vehicles, manpower destroyed in operations

Jeyhun Aliyev   | 21.10.2020
Azerbaijan: Operations continue to free occupied lands

ANKARA

Azerbaijani army operations to liberate territories occupied for nearly 30 years by Armenian forces continue, local authorities said on Wednesday.

Azerbaijani advances continue in Upper Karabakh, or Nagorno-Karabakh, a territory illegally occupied by Armenia since 1991.

Overnight combat operations in the Aghdara, Fuzuli-Jabrail and Gubadli sections of the front continued with varying intensity, while Armenian forces fired at Azerbaijani defensive positions using small arms, mortars, and howitzers, according to the country's Defense Ministry.

Units of the 18th motorized rifle division of the Armenian Armed Forces in the Jabrayil and Gubadli sections of the front were forced to retreat, having suffered manpower and vehicle losses in Azerbaijani operations, said the statement.

Armenian forces were seized in the defensive line of the 5th mountain rifle regiment, while "a large number" of weapons and ammunition was confiscated, said the ministry.

"The regiment's chief of artillery, commander of artillery division, and commander of the 4th battalion together with the battalion's military personnel were destroyed."

Noting casualties among Armenian units in the 6th and 7th mountain rifle regiments, the ministry said that Vahan Sargsyan, deputy commander of the regiment, was among those neutralized.

Three artillery pieces, several mortars, and three vehicles with military personnel were destroyed or disabled in the fighting, it added.

Troops of the Azerbaijan Armed Forces control the operational situation along the entire front, it said.

A battalion of Armenian army's 556th regiment was also destroyed by the Azerbaijani army in operations in the Jabrayil direction of the front, Azerbaijan's Defense Ministry also said. 

Meanwhile, most of the personnel of the battalion -- consisting of some 400 contract servicemen -- were neutralized, and the military unit was forced to return back to re-organize.  

The ministry added that the regiment commander was reportedly dismissed from his post for refusing to lead the remaining personnel to fight again, and that many servicemen who refused to go to fight were also taken under an investigation.

The ministry also noted that starting Wednesday morning, Armenian forces were shelling the western city of Tartar and regional territory using artillery installations.

New clashes

Since fresh clashes erupted on Sept. 27, Armenia has continued its attacks on civilians and Azerbaijani forces, even violating humanitarian cease-fire agreements.

In two missile attacks on Ganja, a major Azerbaijani city far from the front line, Armenia killed some two dozen civilians, including children, and injured scores more.

Last Thursday, Armenia targeted civilians at a cemetery in the western city of Tartar, killing four and injuring four others.

Over the past 10 days, Armenia has violated two humanitarian cease-fires in Upper Karabakh, or Nagorno-Karabakh, an internationally recognized territory of Azerbaijan.

A new humanitarian cease-fire entered into force last Saturday.

Upper Karabakh conflict

Relations between the two former Soviet republics have been tense since 1991, when the Armenian military occupied Upper Karabakh.

Four UN Security Council resolutions and two from the UN General Assembly, as well as international organizations, demand the “immediate complete and unconditional withdrawal of the occupying forces” from occupied Azerbaijani territory.

In total, about 20% of Azerbaijan's territory – including Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent regions – has been under illegal Armenian occupation for nearly three decades.

The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk Group – co-chaired by France, Russia, and the US – was formed in 1992 to find a peaceful solution to the conflict, but to no avail. A cease-fire, however, was agreed to in 1994.

World powers, including Russia, France, and the US, have called for a new cease-fire. Turkey, meanwhile, has supported Baku's right to self-defense and demanded the withdrawal of Armenia's occupying forces.

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