STEPANAKERT—The Artsakh Army can “paralyze Azerbaijan’s economy” through missile attacks, in the event that Azerbaijan launches offensives against Artsakh, the country’s defense minister and commander of its armed forces Lieutenant-General Levon Mnatsakanyan said Tuesday during a press conference.
While saying such an attack by Artsakh forces was not imminent he said that striking targets that could potentially hinder a foe’s economic well-being was part of rules of military engagement.
“This is part of our tactical plans,” said Mnatsakanyan. “The art of war requires attacks on such facilities, in addition to military targets, to cause damage to the [enemy] economy and will deter the delivery of supplies to its soldiers.”
Mnatsakanyan made the statements in response to reporter’s question about whether there were plans to attack a big hydroelectric power station near the Azerbaijani town of Mingachevi. A recent accident there caused massive power outages across Azerbaijan.
The defense minister emphasized that the Artsakh armed forces were equipped to launch an adequate counteroffensive, despite Azerbaijan’s recent acquisition of tactical missiles from Israel, which have a 300-kilometer (approximately 186.5-mile) range.
“Our Armed Forces also have a similar weapon,” said Mnatsakanyan, presumably referring to a recent delivery of the Russian-made Iskander missiles, which were supplied to Armenia in 2016. The armed forces commander stressed that the capabilities of the Armenian side would deliver more precise fire and were “almost the same as” the Azerbaijani potential.