Azerbaijan’s army has proved its combat capability, adequately responding to Armenia’s provocation, says Svante Cornell, director of the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute and Silk Road Studies Program of the John Hopkins University.
The recent incident testifies that the combat capability of the Azerbaijani army has greatly improved, Cornell told Trend Apr. 4.
Regarding Armenia’s aggression, Cornell said the Armenian side carried out a similar provocation in 2014.
“Taking into account the period of Armenia’s provocation, one can see that this provocation took place after the Nuclear Security Summit in the US," Cornell said, adding that this is not a coincidence.
On the night of Apr. 2, all the frontier positions of Azerbaijan were subjected to heavy fire from Armenians, who were using large-caliber weapons, mortars, grenade launchers and guns. Azerbaijani settlements near the frontline densely populated by civilians were shelled as well.
A counter-attack was carried out following the provocations of the Armenian armed forces on the night of Apr. 2.
Six Armenian tanks, 15 gun mounts and reinforced engineering structures were destroyed and more than 100 servicemen of the Armenian armed forces were wounded and killed during the shootouts.
Twelve servicemen of the Azerbaijani armed forces heroically died, one Mi-24 helicopter was shot down and one tank was damaged on a mine.
Three more soldiers of Azerbaijan were killed during the past day and night as a result of the ceasefire violation.
On Apr. 4, Azerbaijani armed forces destroyed three tanks and eliminated around 30 servicemen of the Armenian armed forces.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.
The two countries signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, Russia, France and the US are currently holding peace negotiations.
Armenia has not yet implemented the UN Security Council`s four resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts.