- No Armenian Casualties Reported
- Azerbaijan Suffers “Many Casualties,” Armenia’s Defense Minister Says
- The Remains of At Least 10 fatalities from an Elite Unit of 100 Azerbaijani Soldiers Have been Retrieved
- Azerbaijani Drone Strikes a Vehicle on a Humanitarian Mission from Armenia’s Emergency Situation Ministry
- Baku Threatens to Bomb Metsamor Nuclear Power Plant
- Tavush Governor Says Residents are Vigilant and Calm
Despite suffering heavy losses earlier in the week, Azerbaijan forces resumed their attacks on military and civilian targets in Armenia on Thursday. Fighting had stopped on Wednesday after three days of fierce attempts by Azerbaijan to breach the Armenian border were repelled.
Armenian Armed Forces rebuffed Thursday’s attacks, which began at 3:40 a.m. when Azerbaijani forces, using mortars and Howitzers, began attacking Armenian targets in the Tavush Provinces. Civilian settlements in the Chinari village were hit
The Armenian Defense Minister reported no Armenian casualties, but civilians have been injured, some in critical condition.
According to defense ministry spokesperson Shushan Stepanyan, Armenia’s forces were on all-round defense mode and prevented Azerbaijan’s attempts to breach the border.
Azerbaijan resumed its attack at 5:20 a.m., shelling targets in the Aygepar and Movses villages of Tavush. This attempt was also rebuffed by Armenian soldiers.
Stepanyan reported that Armenian forces destroyed an Azerbaijani tank, which was firing mortars at targets in Tavush.
“The Armenian units have destroyed the enemy’s tank, firing positions of artillery and mortar batteries which were shelling our settlements and positions,” Stepanyan said in a Facebook post.
An elite unit of Azerbaijani armed forces comprised of 100 soldiers, which attempted to breach the Armenian border, suffered serious losses, said Artsrun Hovhannisyan, Chief of Command and Staff of the Vazgen Sargsyan Military University and former spokesperson of Armenia’s Defense Ministry said during a press briefing on Thursday.
”At the moment we have photos detailing that 10 bodies [of Azerbaijani casualties] have been evacuated,” said Hovhannisyan who explained that if there were 10 remains that have been cleared from one area, there are other parts where active combat took and from where remains have not yet been recovered.
“The [Azerbaijani] unit of 100 servicemen has suffered serious losses—potentially 25, 30 or event 40 percent,” reported Hovhannisyan.
The former spokesperson also reported that an Azerbaijani drone struck a vehicle on a humanitarian mission from Armenia’s Emergency Situations Ministry. There were no casualties from this incident.
During Thursday’s cabinet meeting Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said that a hilltop border post of the Armenian army in Tavush was the primary target of overnight Azerbaijani attacks.
Pashinyan said that more than 100 Azerbaijani forces stormed but failed to seize it before other Azerbaijani troops launched unsuccessful attacks on adjacent Armenian positions.
Pashinyan added that Armenian Armed Forces “confidently repelled all attacks and retained full control of the situation.”
“It should be stressed that this aggression came as a treacherous violation of an arrangement on cessation of hostilities reached earlier and following the July 15 statement by the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs on the establishment of relative calm on the border,” Armenia’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Thursday.
“As a result of its short-sighted policy, the military-political leadership of Azerbaijan is at an impasse and now is resorting to perilous, ill-conceived steps for which it will bear responsibility also before its own people,” the foreign ministry added. “At this time, efforts aimed at unconditional, complete restoration, preservation and strengthening of the ceasefire are imperative.”
Armenia’s Defense Minister Davit Tonoyan phoned the Permanent Representative of the OSCE Chairman in Office Andrzej Kasprzyk to brief him on the latest escalation. Stepanyan said Tonoyan told Kasprzyk that the Azerbaijani side suffered “many casualties.”
Governor of Tavush Province Hayk Chobanyan told reporters that despite the ongoing attacks since Sunday, the residents of the region have remained calm and vigilant, using shelters when necessary to protect themselves.
“There is no panic in the communities. Today we asked the people to remain in shelters if possible. The situation is stable and under control. Thanks to the professional work of our Army we feel more secure in our villages and towns,” Chobanyan said at a briefing on Thursday.
The town of Berd and the villages of Aygepar, Nerkin Karmiragbyur, Movses and Chinari, as well as other bordering communities have come under attack since Sunday, when Azerbaijani forces brazenly, but unsuccessfully, attempted to breach the border with Armenia and capture a military post.
Several homes, civilian buildings have been damaged as a result of the shelling. The kindergarten in Aygepar village was shelled. Azerbaijani attacks also damaged fruit orchards and trees. Unexploded shells were found in the Chinari village after rocket fire directed at civilian targets there, impacting children and elderly.
Azerbaijan, on Thursday, also threatened to attack the Metsamor Nuclear Power Plant located outside of Yerevan.
“Armenian side should not forget that the latest missile systems, which are in the arsenal of the Azerbaijani army, can hit the Metsamor NPP with a great accuracy, which will lead to a great disaster for Armenia,” said an Azerbaijani Defense Ministry spokesperson in a Twitter post on Thursday.