Karabakh Armed Forces Hold Major Drills Near Border

STEPANAKERT (RFE/RL)—The Nagorno-Karabakh Republic’s armed forces held on Friday what appeared to be large-scale military exercises monitored by Armenia’s visiting President Serzh Sarkisian and Defense Minister Seyran Ohanian.

The regular exercises began on November 1 in the Armenian-controlled section of the Aghdam district in eastern Karabakh, just kilometers away from Azerbaijani army positions.

Sarkisian and Ohanian, both of them natives and former military leaders of Nagorno-Karabakh, watched the final phase of the war games together with the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic’s leadership. Their press offices issued no statements in connection with that as of late evening.

The Armenian president was expected to inaugurate on Saturday newly constructed apartment buildings for Karabakh Armenian military personnel. He likewise opened a new military base during a June visit to Karabakh.

The Karabakh government and military made no officials statements on the exercises involving heavy artillery and other military hardware. Nor did they allow local journalists be present at the drills.

News reports from Baku said powerful explosions could be heard in Azerbaijani-controlled territories close to the Armenian-Azerbaijani “line of contact” in recent days.

The APA news agency said heavy fire across the frontline intensified on Friday, causing tremors in nearby Azerbaijani towns and villages. Citing local residents, it suggested that the Karabakh forces are holding their largest ever exercises.

The drills come against the backdrop of more frequent cease-fire violations reported from various sections of the frontline in recent months. Meeting in Russia late last month, Sarkisian and Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev pledged to bolster the ceasefire regime.

Incidentally, Aliyev visited the Azerbaijani-controlled section of Aghdam and adjacent areas earlier this week. Speaking in the town of Yevlakh, he again warned that Baku will try to win back Karabakh and Azerbaijani districts surrounding it by force if the protracted peace talks with Armenia yield no tangible results soon. “I have no doubts that our armed forces are capable of achieving objectives set for them with honor and within a short period of time,” Aliyev said, according to Day.az.

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17 Comments

  1. Serge said:

    Agdam is not located “east of Karabakh”. Agdam (now known as ‘Akna’) is PART of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic.

  2. Leo said:

    well said. if asbarez a supposed nationalist paper makes a mistake like this then what are others supposed to think?

    • Admin said:

      Point of clarification. Karabakh, or Nagorno-Karabakh refers to the mountainous region of Artsakh. Aghdam, which is on the flatlands, is outside of what is historically known as the area of Karabakh. Thus it is in fact east of Karabakh.

      • anonymous said:

        point of clarification for the administrator.. karabakh is a term given by persian khanates..nagorno was added by the russians.. Read Strabo and you will Artsakh as the original name..im sure i dont have to remind you of that.. The fact that “aghdam” was not part of Artsakh is merely the result of persian khanates and russian imperial army drawing lines and carving the region up.. in conclusion TIGRANAKERT is in “AGHdam”–>Akna..its actually historically known as KHACHEN..not in the divided district of artsakh

        • Admin said:

          @anonymous, Tigranakert is in Aghdam, which is in the historic province of Artsakh. The area of mountainous Karabakh, which you rightly pointed out is a name of Russo-Persian origin, is also within the historic province of Artsakh. Aghdam, however, is not in Karabakh proper though it is in the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic.

  3. Sly said:

    Who cares about the official status of Agdam now? If King Ilham decides that he wants to dance again, we’ll extend our “line of contact” to Kura river, the real eastern boundaries of Armenia.

      • Sly said:

        He’s probably consulting with his psycho buddy Saakashvili… To attack or not to attack? Do I show my slave people that I’m stronger than my dad and can beat Armenians? Or do I just let it be and maybe let my son take care of this when he takes over the throne? Decisions, decisions…

  4. Z said:

    Prepare to unleash HELL on azeris. I hope we got the nuclear warheads ready right. They must have it although it’s not official. NUKE baku, move ahead. It’s either us or them.

    • Zareh said:

      Actually Z, it would be better if the Azeris are humiliated again and more territory is lost, then you will see Baku disintegrate by he Azeris themselves, because Alyiev and his clan will be history, in a violent and bloody civil war.

  5. Random Armenian said:

    Z,

    Armenia has an aging soviet nuclear power plant for generating electricity, not nuclear warheads. Do you understand the difference?

  6. S said:

    Harach yertank yeghpayr jan… Harach kenank Hayer jan… Minchev hasnink mer nebadagin!!!!!!

  7. ArdeVast Atheian said:

    I lament this once an Islamic Land, always an Islamic land, mentality among Muslims towards their non-Muslim adversaries. Our Western Civilization although never as belligerent and nowhere near as hateful, is far better adapted to defending its survival than theirs even while fighting surrounded by an ocean of Islam. Thus I think Ilham’s intransigence and his belligerence will result in more of his Azeri conquered lands reverting back to their original owners, be they to Armenians or be they to Jews in Israel.

  8. LoveArmenia said:

    I hate how Azeries keep on calling Karabagh and Armenia ancient Azeri lands when they did not even appear on a map at all until 1923, and they have only been a nation of a total of 20 years compared to Armenia’s 8,000 years in existence. They also steal our culture and claim it as their own. Azerbaijanies are just loosers and wannabies . Also, we will turn Agdam into a even more forgotten Ani, then will will rebuilt the Armenian city of Akna.

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