Armenian soldiers injured during a brawl instigated by Azerbaijanis speak out
While the standoff at Armenia’s border is far from being over, Armenia’s Defense Ministry on Monday announced that some Azerbaijani forces who had breached Armenia’s border and advanced into its sovereign territory had retreated back to their original positions.
The defense ministry announced that the Azerbaijani retreat took place on Saturday night, adding the situation at Sev Lidj (Black Lake), the epicenter of the standoff and the Azerbaijani incursion, was “relatively stable.” The ministry did not specify the number of Azerbaijani forces that have reportedly left the area, nor has it ever provided a clear number on Azeri presence.
The ministry also refuted claims that 1,000 Azerbaijani forces had positioned themselves at Sev Lidj.
The staff of Armenia’s Human Defender’s Office visited the region on Friday and met with Armenian soldiers who were injured during a brawl that was instigated by the invading Azerbaijani soldiers the night before.
The Human Rights Defender’s staff held talks with the soldiers, examined their medical documents and collected data about their health condition, as well as the health condition of other servicemen who received treatment in another military hospital of Armenia.
The discussions with the wounded Armenian soldiers shed more light on the incident, as a result of which 11 people were reportedly injured.
The soldiers said that on May 20, the Azerbaijani armed forces, again brandishing an obviously fake map, had attempted tried to occupy a hill located in the area adjacent to Sev Lidj near the Khoznavar village.
According to the Human Rights Defender’s Office, the Armenian soldiers urged the Azerbaijani forces to return to their initial positions. Initially, the Azerbaijani forces agreed to comply with the Armenian demands, but later that evening, the Azerbaijani forces deliberately provoked an altercation and attacked the Armenian soldiers. The incident lasted about 20 to 30 minutes, after which the Azerbaijani troops left the area.
“The Human Rights Defender views the actions of the Azerbaijani forces as a serious provocation, which is directed against the civilian population of the villages of Syunik province, given their illegal attempt to advance toward the Khoznavar village,” said a statement issued by the Human Rights Defender’s Office.
“It’s worth mentioning that the chief commander of the Azerbaijani troops, who instigates such incidents and makes provocations, is the President of Azerbaijan who is constantly speaking in the language of threats about the Armenian people and is encouraging hatred,” added the statement.
“International organizations must definitely take into consideration the real link between these factors and then assess who is the one that is threatening the peace in the region, which are the real causes of human rights violations and atrocities,” stressed the statement, adding that the creation of a security zone, as advanced by the Human Rights Defender Arman Tatoyan, is an imperative.