Armenian Army Prepared to Defend Itself as Azerbaijan Continues to Violate Cease Fire

YEREVAN (Armenpress/RFE/RL)–Amid cease fire violations by Azerbaijan–Vice Minister of Defense General Artur Aghabegian said that the Armenian Armed Forces are prepared to suppress Azeri attacks.

He added that at this point there is no serious need to talk about the danger of war–but every single soldier knows that Armenia is ready to resist both local skirmishes and if need be–full scale military operations.

Aghabegian said that both Armenia and Azerbaijan know that any unforeseen movement along the front line could lead to casualties. He said that Azeri forces may be firing on Armenian positions to disrupt the restructing of trenches.

According to him–such incidents have occasionally occured since the 1994 cease fire.

The Armenian military reported more frequent cease fire violations in recent days. The defense ministry said Azeri forces on Wednesday continued to open fire on the westernmost sections of the border in the Ijevan and Shorzha regions.

On Thursday–Azeri troops shelled Armenian military units in the northeastern Tavush province and in Vayots Dzor on the border with Azerbaijan’s enclave Nakhichevan.

The Armenian defense ministry denied allegations by Azerbaijan that its positions in Kazah region were shelled by Armenia’s.

A message released by the US embassy in Yerevan on Thursday advised American citizens residing in Armenia to stay away from the section of a highway in the northeastern Tavush region that runs close to the border with Azerbaijan. "The US Embassy has designated this portion of the road off-limits to all US government personnel because it lies too close to the cease fire line between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces–a line which has seen numerous cease fire violations over the years," read the message.

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