Azerbaijan, Armenia report deaths in recent border clashes

Rahim Huseynli Feature 17 November 2021
Azerbaijan, Armenia report deaths in recent border clashes

The Azerbaijani Defense Ministry has said that 7 servicemen of the Azerbaijan Army were killed and 10 others wounded during the combat operations that occurred on the state border with Armenia, on November 16.

“The situation on the Azerbaijani-Armenian state border has stabilized since the evening of November 16,” the official website of the ministry added. Intensive fighting which erupted in the afternoon of 16 November, ceased at 18.30 local time in accordance with the agreement reached with Baku through Moscow's mediation. 

According to the Armenian defense ministry, one Armenian soldier was killed, 13 were taken captive and 24 went missing. It also added that two Armenian military positions came under Azerbaijan's control. Meanwhile, the Armenian news website reported that 30 Armenian soldiers were killed and 50 wounded. 

On the morning of November 16, Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry, reported that Armenian military launched a massive attack in order to capture the high grounds and take more advantageous positions in the direction of the Kalbajar and Lachin regions of the state border. 

Armenian servicemen have been disarmed and detained, a large number of weapons of various calibers, and a large amount of ammunition have been seized by the Azerbaijani forces, as retaliation.

It was reported earlier that Russian President Vladimir Putin had telephone conversation with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, while Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu spoke on the phone with his Armenian and Azeri counterparts and discussed the escalation of tensions in the border areas. 

On the same day, the head of the Armenian Security Council asked “Moscow to intervene and defend Armenia in the ongoing escalation on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border”. 

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev blamed Armenia for clashes going on at the border between the two countries, in a phone conversation with European Council President Charles Michel

Aliyev said that Armenia had "repeatedly resorted to military provocations" in Karabakh as well as on the border with the Azerbaijani districts of Lachin and Kalbajar, and "a large-scale attack" took place on November 16. 

Azerbaijan's Foreign Ministry said in a statement on November 16 that "Armenia is fuelling tension deliberately" and that "the current tension in the region is another military-political provocation by Armenia".

The recent confrontation between the two South Caucasus began in the last few days. Armenian armed forces have repeatedly shelled the Azerbaijani positions along the borderline between the two countries.

On November 15, the Armenian armed forces shelled the Azerbaijani military’s positions in Kalbajar district located on the border with Armenia. In addition to military positions, equipment as well as vehicles transporting supplies for the Azerbaijani army have been fired by Armenians.

On November 14, the Armenian military regrouped personnel and equipment to the Armenia-Azerbaijan borderline in the direction of Azerbaijan’s Lachin region — the move Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry described to be preparations for the next armed provocation.

On November 9, around sixty Armenian servicemen moving in the direction of Lake Garagol of the Lachin district tried to block the way between the Azerbaijani military positions located on this section of the border. Azerbaijani armed forces foiled this attempt of the Armenian military. On the same day, heavy equipment of the Azerbaijani military was also subjected to fire in Kalbajar.

Azerbaijan restored control of a larger portion of its 1,007-kilometer borderline with neighboring Armenia, liberating the districts of Zangilan, Jabrayil, Gubadli, Kalbajar, Aghdam, and Lachin during the Second Karabakh War in autumn 2020.

The Azerbaijani government has been calling on Armenia’s authorities to recognize each other’s territorial integrity and borders and start working on delimitation and demarcation procedures. Baku is convinced that there should be a peace agreement between Armenia and Azerbaijan.