Armenian forces suffer losses, forced to retreat

By: Sara Rajabova

Armenia continues its provocative moves on the contact line of Armenian-Azerbaijani troops, despite repeated calls by the international community to stand down.

Azerbaijani armed forces launched a heavy blow to the enemy on the front line and destroyed and wounded up to 20 Armenian soldiers as a result of military clash that took place on March 19 at the front, the Azerbaijani defense ministry said on March 19.

The information which claimed that Azerbaijan armed forces committed several acts of sabotage on the contact line, disseminated by Armenian media is untrue, read the report.

The ministry said Armenian defense ministry deliberately concealed information about its unsuccessful military operations and losses fearing the growing wrath of the soldiers’ mothers.

“All the provocation of the enemy on the frontline will be severely suppressed. The enemy must realize that it invaded the lands of others, and the only solution is to withdraw from the territories of Azerbaijan,” Zakir Hasanov, Azerbaijan’s defense minister earlier said.

The defense ministry further reported that details concerning the recent military engagement on the front-line will be presented later.

On March 12, Azerbaijan armed forces foiled another sabotage attempt by an Armenian reconnaissance group on the frontline. The group of Armenian saboteurs fell under heavy fire as militants moved across the line of contact. The armed militants were forced to run on as the soldiers began shooting at their positions following some heavy shelling.

Armenia occupied over 20 percent of Azerbaijan’s internationally recognized territory, including Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent regions, after laying territorial claims against its South Caucasus neighbor that caused a brutal war in the early 1990s. Long-standing efforts by U.S., Russian and French mediators have been largely fruitless so far.

As a result of the military aggression of Armenia, over 20,000 Azerbaijanis were killed, 4,866 are reported missing and almost 100,000 were injured, and 50,000 were disabled.

The UN Security Council has passed four resolutions on Armenian withdrawal from the Azerbaijani territory, but they have not been enforced to this day.