MAJOR: Open Conflict Erupts between Azerbaijan and Armenia – mediators push for calm

YEREVAN – Azerbaijan began attacks on Armenian positions, the Ministry of Defense of Armenia reported on Monday night.

The two countries have a long-standing border dispute, relating to the fact that both states have claimed discontinuous borders, with Azerbaijan’s being formally recognized.

On the evening of July 12th,  a large firefight began on the border between Azerbaijan and Armenia.

The Ministry of Defense of Azerbaijan announced shelling of its positions by the Armenian military. According to Baku, both sides suffered losses.

Earlier it became known about the death of three Azerbaijani troops, at least five more were injured. 

According to the Armenian Ministry of Defense, the Azerbaijani military tried to capture the Armenian stronghold with the support of artillery.

“The Azerbaijani side resumed shelling from tanks and 82-mm mortars in the direction of our positions,” said Shushan Stepanyan, spokesman for the Armenian defense department, on Sunday evening.

“The military-political leadership of Azerbaijan will be fully responsible for the aggravation of the situation,” she emphasized.

Updated

The Armenian Defense Ministry reported at night that they were firing to suppress enemy firepower.

“The shelling continues regularly with different intensities. Armenian Armed Forces have no casualties or wounded. All attempts to attack the opponent are neutralized, ” Shushan Stepanyan informed media.

“The Armed forces of Armenia do not fire towards the (civilian – ed) settlements of Azerbaijan. The goal is only engineering infrastructure and military equipment, ” said the spokeswoman for the Ministry of Defense.

“Minister of Defense Davit Tonoyan is in constant contact with the personal representative of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office, Ambassador Andrzej Kasprzyk. During the last conversation, the Minister of Defense informed him that the command and personnel of the Armenian army military unit have been instructed so far to maintain restraint, and in case of enemy provocations in the direction of the borders of the Republic of Armenia, to react as necessary up to taking new convenient positions, ” she summed up.

Secretary General of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) Stanislav Zas initiated an emergency meeting of the CSTO Permanent Council in connection with the aggravation of the situation on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border.

The meeting will be held July 13 online, told RIA Novosti CSTO spokesman Vladimir Zainetdinov. 

On Sunday, a clash occurred on the border of the Tovuz region of Azerbaijan with the Tavush region of Armenia. The Azerbaijani Defense Ministry announced the shelling of its positions by the Armenian military.

According to Baku, three Azerbaijani soldiers died, the Armenian military also suffered losses.

The Armenian Ministry of Defense stated that the Azerbaijani military, with the support of artillery, tried to capture the Armenian stronghold . According to Yerevan, Azerbaijan suffered losses, but Armenia did not.

“In connection with the aggravation of the situation on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border caused by the clashes in the Tavush direction on July 12 this year, the CSTO Secretary General Stanislav Zas initiated an emergency meeting of the CSTO Permanent Council on July 13,” Zaynetdinov said.

“The post-council will be held in videoconferencing mode,” he added. 

The CSTO includes Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan, with Serbia as an observer member.

-file photo, Azeri artillery firing at Armenian positions on an unknown date

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