Armenia Will Strike Back Harder if Baku Resumes Military Attacks

Armenia's Defense Minister Davit Tonoyan visited military bases over the weekend
Armenia's Defense Minister Davit Tonoyan visited military bases over the weekend

Armenia’s Defense Minister Davit Tonoyan visited military bases over the weekend

YEREVAN—Armenia’s Defense Minister Davit Tonoyan warned Baku that Armenia will strike back harder in the event of an Azerbaijani attack similar to what he called the April 2016 “aggression” against Artsakh.

Speaking to the Russian EADaily Tonoyan warned that in an event of an attack by Azerbaijan, Armenia cannot be in the position to solicit peace and will use its capabilities to retaliate.

“Despite Armenia’s constructive stance, I wouldn’t want you to have the impression that Armenia will solicit peace. I would advise Azerbaijan not to be so confident that it is the one controlling the escalation of the military situation. Meaning, the mediators will not be able to convince Armenia to stop a response or punitive actions in the event that Azerbaijan re-launches military operations, evena limited scale military operations,” explained Tonoyan.

“In the event of a repetition of the 2016 April aggression, Armenia might not resist the temptation to use its entire available arsenal to deliver a massive and decisive blow to the enemy,” added Tonoyan.

The defense chief spoke about the dangers of large scale military build-up by Azerbaijan along the Artsakh-Azerbaijan border and warned that the likelihood of resumption of military operations is always high.

“Reports about the build-up of Azerbaijani military are accurate and similar processes are observed not only at the Artsakh-Azerbaijan border, but also at the Armenia-Azerbaijan border, namely in Nakhichevan. Azerbaijan’s conduct is nothing but a threat to use force, whereas not using force is the basis for the peaceful resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict,” he said.

Tonoyan ruled out any future “surprise” attacks by Azerbaijan and said that in assessing the April 2016 War, Yerevan has reached several conclusions, among them being that “Azerbaijan will not be allowed to have a monopoly on deciding the time and scale of a military attack.”

The defense chief also expressed concern over the sources from which Azerbaijan is acquiring arms and military equipment and urged those countries that are engaged in the conflict resolution process to refrain from selling weapons to Baku. He lamented that Armenia’s allies are selling arms to Azerbaijan, which in turn are used against Armenian targets.

Tonoyan also said that the close alliance—military and otherwise—between Azerbaijan and Turkey was a source of concern to Yerevan, since alliance directly threatens Armenia’s national security given Baku’s continued military threats and Ankara’s largesse in advancing Azerbaijan’s agenda.

The defense minister said that Yerevan’s top priority for the defense sector is the creation of favorable military conditions for the peaceful resolution of the Karabakh conflict.

“For me it is a priority to create favorable military conditions for the resolution of the Karabakh conflict. Here we must note the contradiction between the terms ‘peace’ and ‘military conditions.’ However, as they used to say during the Cold War years: ‘missiles are made for peace, not war.’ Armenia is the sole guarantor of Artsakh’s physical security,” added Tonoyan


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  1. Masis said:

    Finally, a statement with some teeth. One must recall that we are dealing with a Muslim fundamentalist regime, whose mode of operation is the sword. Only calling for a peaceful resolution is meaningless. One should offer aggressive rhetoric regardless of who has the military advantage. Only then will Aliyev back down. Despite having a much smaller military, Iran still talks the talk. Often the other side fears costly losses even if they should prevail and stops bullying. Its is true so far Aliyev has held the monopoly regarding the conflict. He attacks when he chooses and stop when he chooses.

    Our statement to Europe should be: “We don’t plan on starting a conflict, but by the same conviction and gravity, we plan on finishing any conflict that starts. At that time, we reserve the right to implement any condition for peace that we see fit “

  2. Armen said:

    Bravo Mr. Tonoyan. We believe what you said. Armenian trust Mr. Pashinyan’s team, he is not Sarkisyan. and furthermore Armenia is changed.
    This time enemy must think twice. In spite of enemy’s dream for her western allied support. Armenia have had a mutual treaty with our historical friend Russia (or at least for own interest) Russian are going to protect our Western border…

  3. Bob said:

    Those who sell (or otherwise provide) arms to Azerbaijan seek neither “conflict resolution” nor alliance with Armenia.

  4. minas minasian said:

    Russia will only come to protect Armenia when it deems fit to do so. If you believe for one second that they actually will help protect anything Armenian without serving their own purpose and needs first then you are dreaming. We will be forced into a corner before they raise a finger, I guarantee it. They betray Armenia every day by selling weapons to Azeris in the name of military parity. I don’t hate Russia or Russians but with friends like that you don’t need enemies. Only Armenians will protect Armenia and Artsagh never rely on any other ethnic group to protect what is ours.

  5. Ari said:

    Nakhichevan should be taken over by Armenia and Turks kicked out of this ancient Armenian land that has been suffering ever since the Persian King (Shah Abbas) forcefully depopulated the Armenians from their homeland.