Syunik Outposts Near Kapan are Surrendered to Azerbaijan

Syunik Province (Azatutyun.am photo)
Syunik Province (Azatutyun.am photo)

Syunik Province (Azatutyun.am photo)

Representatives of local self-government of Syunik region announced that today, at 5 pm, the territories that belonged to Azerbaijan according to the maps of the Soviet Union and were part of Azerbaijan, would be transferred to Azerbaijan. This applies to combat positions, some roads, as well as residential areas.

Residents of Syunik are vowing to fight for their region, with many people banding together to form a volunteer militia to protect the area. They have been blocking roads to prevent access to the Azerbaijanis.

Syunik resident volunteers band together to defend their region

Syunik resident volunteers band together to defend their region

“He, who with one stroke of a pen, retreated 30 to 40 kilometers and gifted it to the Turks [Azerbaijanis]… Until that person takes responsibility and abandons his dark seat and transfers it to someone who will come here and, in a responsible manner, resolve this matter,” one Syunik resident and volunteer militia member told news.am referring to Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan who signed the November 9 agreement that ended the war but has caused chaos and uncertainty for thousands of residents whose villages are under the threat of being surrendered.

“We are waiting for that day, when someone will come and give answers to our questions,” he said.

Pashinyan had announced that some sections of the Goris-Kapan highway are outside Armenia on the same principle.

The territories in question are areas surrounding several dozen villages in the Kapan region, starting from the village of Shurnukh, which is dozens of kilometers away from Kapan, to the village of Syunik in the immediate vicinity of Kapan, closer to the villages of Agarak and Yeghvard near the Azerbaijani border.

Azatutyun.am reported that Russian peacekeepers patrolling the road from Kapan to villages along the Azerbaijani border can already be seen there. The villagers said that in addition to giving up military positions, their road connecting to Kapan will be transferred to Azerbaijan, with their access to the city diverted to more dangerous roads.

Armenia’s Defense Minister Vagharshak Harutyunyan announced that per an agreement with his Russian counterpart Sergey Shoygu, Russian soldiers will patrol the Armenia-Azerbaijan border in Syunik.

Harutyunyan later visited the the south-eastern border Friday, where he inspected the new military positions following Armenia’s surrender of outposts to Azerbaijan earlier in the day. He also met with commanders and servicemen.

Armenia's Defense Minister Vagharshak Harutyunyan visited new border posts in Syunik

Armenia’s Defense Minister Vagharshak Harutyunyan visited new border posts in Syunik

According to the ministry’s press service Harutyunyan visited areas where the distance between the Armenian and Azerbaijani positions is, in some cases, only 100 meters.

Reportedly, Harutyunyan paid special attention to the living conditions of the newly-created and equipped positions, as well as the trenches.

Harutyunyan pledged that his ministry will take all steps to make the front line as safe as possible for service and to create the necessary living conditions.

“We are under siege, we do not know what will happen, many people will be captured on the roads again, what will happen is unknown to us and very worrying. There are people who came from Karabakh, they escaped after the war, they fought there with 3 boys, they came, they have been guarding a post here, now they are forced to retreat from that post. We do not know what is happening. I want there to be peace. I want our leaders to and not allow this so we can see our legendary Syunik. Syunik cannot be surrendered, not an inch of territory,” one resident told Azatutyun.am.

“Now rumors are circulating that our villages are also in danger, that they should come under the control of Azerbaijan. That’s it, we are worried about uncertainty, “ another resident told Azatutyun.

Yerkir Media is reporting that some Kapan residents are setting their home ablaze to prevent Azerbaijanis form taking over.

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