2017 May 19 ( Friday ) 14:18:55
The 25th anniversary of the seizure by the Armed Forces of Armenia of the Lachin region of Azerbaijan was marked by a military-diplomatic escalation in the zone of the Karabakh conflict.
The Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group (MG) made a statement on this issue on May 18, the tone of which speaks of excessive tension not only on both sides of the contact of the fire, but also in the camp of the mediating countries wedged between Azerbaijan and Armenia.
We condemn the recent violations of the ceasefire agreement and call on the parties to take all necessary measures to prevent further escalation in the conflict zone, the joint statement of the representatives of the United States, Russia and France says.
According to the MG"s information gathered from several reliable sources, on May 15, the Azerbaijani armed forces fired a missile at the contact line, destroying the military equipment of the Armenian side. In the evening of May 16 and May 17, the Armenian armed forces struck back with mortar fire of various calibers. These actions constitute significant violations of the ceasefire on both sides and are a cause for concern, the statement said.
On May 15 the Ministry of Defense of Azerbaijan promptly reported that the antiaircraft missile system "OCA" of the Armenian antiaircraft forces on the same day was taken to a new position in the Fuzuli-Khojevend direction of the front, and an attempt was made to take control of Azerbaijan's airspace. "In order to prevent the threat to Azerbaijani aircraft and suppress enemy activity, the anti-aircraft missile system" OSA "and the transport-loading machine were completely put out of action by fire, the personnel was destroyed."
The question arises as to what purpose the Armenian command put forward to the advanced positions of the Antiaircraft missile complex (AMC), which, according to Turan, actually took place. It is possible that these actions pursued the goal of seizing the position, convenient destruction of Azerbaijani unmanned vehicles, which until now have not been reached for Armenian air defense. It is possible that the Armenian side checked the ability of the Azerbaijani army to fight against closed, closed targets.
In any case, the moving of the missile launcher to the line of contact was provocative and resulted in unnecessary casualties among Armenian Armed Forces personnel, which official Yerevan does not recognize.
This event shows that the parties to the conflict have not changed their military-political approach to the conflict settlement 25 years after the occupation of Lachin, which initiated the occupation of the entire Karabakh region, a bloody war and the long-standing destructive confrontation between the two South Caucasian states.
The military escalation that took place on May 15-17 was expected in the light of the March official and unofficial statements of the sides about the readiness to strike at the infrastructure facilities in the depths for hundreds of kilometers. They sounded on the eve of the first anniversary of the April battles, which marked the beginning of another round of the arms race and mutual threats.
In the article "The April war - the tendency to escalate" of the analytical service of Turan on April 2, 2017, conclusions were drawn about strengthening the force line of Armenia and Azerbaijan in the context of the conflict settlement, the military component of the Karabakh settlement and the development of much larger events of military significance.
A tough assessment of the reaction of the co-chairs of the MG by the Foreign Ministry of Azerbaijan and the principled position regarding the incident, which was expressed in this quote: "The armed forces of the Azerbaijan Republic are in the sovereign territories of Azerbaijan and against the backdrop of the occupation of Azerbaijani territories by Armenia, they provide defense of our country and the security of the civilian population," testify coming new escalations of a military nature with the observer position of international observers.