After More Soldier Deaths, Military Vows Response

Karabakh Defense Army soldiers

YEREVAN (RFE/)—The Karabakh military pledged on Monday to respond “disproportionately” to the deaths of two Armenian soldiers in skirmishes with Azerbaijani forces reported in Nagorno-Karabakh over the weekend.

Karabakh army said the 19-year-old conscripts, Aren Simonian and Mihran Markarian, were shot dead by Azerbaijani snipers in separate incidents on Saturday and Sunday. It said the shootings occurred at sections of the Armenian-Azerbaijani “line of contact” southeast of the disputed territory.

The Azerbaijani Defense Ministry did not immediately comment on the information.

In a written statement, the Karabakh Defense Army accused Baku of deliberately violating the ceasefire to torpedo international efforts to broker a peaceful solution to the Karabakh conflict. It said its forces will react to such violations with “tougher” actions from now on.

A separate statement issued by Armenia’s Defense Ministry said, “Since Azerbaijan’s political and military leadership does not care about the lives of its own soldiers, we have to remind Azerbaijan’s population that as was the case before, the Armenian side’s response to the death of every Armenian soldier will be disproportionate.”

The ministry spokesman, Davit Karapetian, spoke of “punitive actions” to be taken against Azerbaijani troops. “That is going to be our natural and legitimate reaction,” he told RFE/RL’s Armenian service (Azatutyun.am). “And if the Azerbaijani side suffers casualties as a result of that, it will be fully responsible for them.”

Armenian and Karabakh forces were already ordered to launch such retaliatory operations following the killing of three Armenian soldiers near Karabakh in May.

“Unfortunately, the Azerbaijani side hasn’t learned lessons from previous adventures as a result of which it suffered much greater casualties,” said Karapetian. “This testifies to their irresponsible attitude.”

Defense Ministry sources in Yerevan claim that 42 Azerbaijani troops have been killed on the Karabakh frontline and along Armenia’s long border with Azerbaijan so far this year.

The Azerbaijani military has not yet released any casualty data for 2011. Earlier this month, the Baku daily “Zerkalo” quoted an independent military expert, Uzeir Jafarov, as saying that 13 Azerbaijani soldiers were shot dead by the Armenians while 76 others died in non-combat circumstances in 2011.

“Our losses during the less than 11 months of this year surpassed those of the previous two years,” Jafarov said. “This is frightening.”

The military authorities in Yerevan and Stepanakert are likewise reluctant to publicize the Armenian combat death toll. Armenian human rights groups estimated before the latest deadly fighting in Karabakh that 9 Armenian soldiers have died in action since December 2010.

The skirmishes highlight the lingering threat of another Armenian-Azerbaijani war which is prompting growing concern from the world community. They came less than a month after U.S., Russian and French mediators said the conflicting parties have agreed in principle to a “draft mechanism to investigate incidents along the front lines.”

The three co-chairs announced that following yet another visit to Baku, Yerevan and Stepanakert. Armenian and Azerbaijani officials made no statements to that effect.

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17 Comments

  1. Tsayt said:

    Oh NOW the military pledged on to respond “disproportionately” to the deaths of two Armenian soldiers in Karabakh. REALLY!!!! NOW they woke up, shouldn’t they wait for at least another 20 Armenian soldiers die for the military to “pledges” to do something appropriate?

    Haven’t they been following the news as to how Israel responses if a nail of a citizen is hurt, and even worse if a soldier is injured, let alone die by an Arab bullet?

    This wet “wet noodle” state of non-response by the Armenians against Azerbaijan is what got us to this stage in the first place.

  2. Krikor said:

    Stop talking and start acting!The only way the enemy understands if they get hit harder!
    Always remember the saying of General Patton”Nobody wins a war by dying for his/her country.You win wars by making your enemies die for their country!”Hit the MFs harder and fiercer !!!!

  3. www.Voskanapat.info said:

    Azeri Turk dictator Ilham Aliyev does not care how many Azeri soldiers will die when Artsakh retaliates. Azeri Turks send other ethnic minorities (Tolysh, Lezgi, etc.) to fight for their Pan-Turk Nazi idea.

    The more minorities die while killing Armenians is the better for Azeri Turks.

    And Armenian media should stop repeating Azeri Turk and Nabucco propaganda – these are not “skirmishes” – this is cold blooded murder by sniper fire!!

    Azeri snipers are trained and equipped on US taxpayers’ dime by Turkish NATO instructors.

    • phillip said:

      I read sometime ago that russia was selling the azari’s the sniper weapons. I think Armenia lodged some kind of complaint about it but as you can see, nothing was done about it

  4. Halo said:

    Well as for my opinion, I think that retaliation is not good enough. This is like treating cancer, but leaving some cells active, only to see the cancer return shortly thereafter. So what was the point? In order to correct a situation and make it better, the Azeris must face repercussions for their criminal behavior. And those repercussions are non-existent from the “Democracy loving west” because Azerbaijan has oil, and companies like BP and Chevron have established some fancy office buildings in Baku to conduct their dirty business with a dirty government.

    Revenge may feel sweet, but it is often a temporary solution, and a part of me tells me that when we snipe them back, we are stooping to their low level. Something more drastic and permanent must be done to eradicate the Azeri cancer once and for all. Besides military retaliation, the Armenians of NK should in my opinion find ways of bringing economic harm to Azerbaijan. I have no idea why Azerbaijan is stable enough for western companies to be doing business there, it obviously should be a very unstable place to do business based on the criminal behavior of the Azeris. Once the “Democracy loving west” and dictator Aliyev see a threat to their profits, they’ll stop those snipers at the speed of light themselves.

    On a different note, it is impossible for us to know through news channels exactly what is going on over there, so our opinions are always going to have elements of speculation. Still, these young soldiers getting killed for nothing are someone’s son, brother, cousin, etc and for us Armenians reading these reports around the world, it can get extremely irritating and frustrating, because we don’t have any answers.

  5. zohrab said:

    when they kill armenian soldier plan and be ready to send in elite troops cature the snipers then punish him prison for life never to be released

  6. fatcs said:

    There should be no doubt that the order to kill Armenian solders and to kidnap civilians and ‎killing theme being issued by the President office in Baku. ‎ Armenian side is unsteady, which helps Baku!

    ‎ Without doubt there is far more freedom of media and pluralism in Armenia than in Baku. ‎But the way which foredoom and pluralism being practise does help more our enemies than ‎brings good to Armenian people. Therefore there are7were certain developments in Hayastan which did enlarge the appetite of ‎authorities and ‎criminals in Baku. Some of them being understood wrongly by the ‎international community‎ ‎

    These are:‎

    ‎1- All events related to the election in 2008 , which all forces in Hayataan including the three ‎president did act in a irresponsible way- sometime it world better to not have any election at ‎all, than to organize election which there outcome was the division of the nation and so on ! ‎

    ‎2- Unilateral and unproportional compromise made or voiced openly by President Sarkisan ‎many times and above all in his interview given to a Syrian news paper , which he did ‎announce to be ready to return territories , bypassing Arstakh and more!. ‎

    ‎3-‎ Armenian-Turkish protocols ( a gift to Turkey) did disappointed a lot of Armenian ‎activates- This protocol did draw a dividing line between Diaspora and ruling elite in ‎Hayastan. – ‎
    ‎ The issue of “historian commission” being seen by the foreign powers without doubt ‎the readiness of Hayastan to build with Turkey a join “historian commission” regarding the ‎‎“events of 1915” – In this case the statements of ruling elite in this regard are worthless, what ‎maters is the agreed text in protocols- which is a binding document! Now Baku likes to have ‎its own “protocols”! Of course Levon´s ANC tries to exploit the issue in a dishonest and ‎ugly way! Ignoring the numerous wrongdoings of Levon´s regime!‎

    And Dashnaks have in all these development there share!. They did act not less irresponsible ‎and opportune as Levon´s ANC or other political forces. We should not ignore that the ‎established rule of oligarchy was strength during Kocharian´s administration! ‎

    All political forces – old and new – did fail in 2008. The trauma of March 1, impacts of failed ‎judicial system including injustice and the “shock of protocols” are not analyzed correctly- ‎The nation has made its own conclusion and is going its own way! ‎

  7. Elchin said:

    Tomorrow they will claim that they killed 10 Azerbaijani servicemen as they said about Azeri drone while ago.

  8. Kevork said:

    Armenia should take the steps of not recognizing Azerbaijan as a country, and also not recognizing any of the current borders, and start an information campaign against Azerbaijan to teach the world that Azerbaijan is holding Armenian territories and is an impostor state who wishes to harm Armenia every second of every day. Who needs such a country in the world besides Turkey?

    In addition why is Russia not on Armenia’s side? Russia should be helping Armenia liberate her territories from these impostors, not negotiating make-believe peace.

  9. Raffikian said:

    Attack, take the OIL wells, and the world will listen to you, with the OIL money Armenia can do a lot.

  10. Hay said:

    Tsayt and Krikor, it is not you or your sons/brothers who are on the frontlines risking their lives, so please calm your revenge rhetoric. I understand that we are all frustrated, but these brave soldiers are not game pieces that can just be sacrificed while you sit comfortably at home telling the military how to do their job. You can’t command anyone to attack anything when you have no idea what is going on over there. How do you think we have held the border for the past twenty years? I assure you if Azerbaijan smelled even the slightest weakness in us it would have launched a large-scale attack long ago. Our frontline troops are doing a terrific job, and there are many things you do not hear about. We do not report every Azeri soldier killed (most of these are done when somebody violates an invisible line that they know they shouldn’t cross and are thus seen as a threat), while the Azeris think that killing an Armenian in a cowardly sniping game is a big accomplishment and they are proud of it as well. Did you not see the statistics? While those are not the most accurate, there is a clear 4:1 ratio to be seen.

    • Arn. said:

      To mr Hay.

      Did you not see the statistics? While those are not the most accurate, there is a clear 4:1 ratio to be seen.

      Comment –

      Then the Azeris can sacrifice the whole of Artsak population away and still be living and prosporus.

      No – as Mr Krikor partly pointed out – but in a larger scale – You have to deal with Azerbadjan once and for all.

      Arn.Sweden.

  11. Voch said:

    I hope Armenia doesn’t go to war again. Armenia needs to focus on its people and focus on building its economy.

  12. Yes said:

    I hope Armenia doesn’t go to war again. Armenia needs to focus on its people and its economy.

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