Yerevan Blames Baku for Losses Incurred in Azeri Attack

Armenian soldiers on the frontlines in the Martakert region of Artsakh

YEREVAN (Arka)—The responsibility for the escalation of violence following an Azeri military provocation on Thursday lies fully with Azerbaijan’s leadership, the press secretary of Armenia’s Foreign Ministry, Tigran Balayan, said in commenting on an attack carried out by Azerbaijani commandos on Artsakh positions, Novosti-Armenia reports.

On Thursday, March 19, at 8:30 a.m. local time, an Azerbaijani special operations squad attacked Artsakh positions deployed in the northern section of the front line near Gulistan. After a nearly two-hour battle, Artsakh troops forced the Azeri squad to retreat. They then reportedly pursued the squad and completely neutralized it on the outskirts of enemy positions. Three Artsakh Defense Army soldiers were killed and another four were wounded; two of them are in critical but stable condition, which the other two are in seriously critical condition.

“Once again Baku has demonstrated apparent disrespect toward the global community’s calls to refrain from violence,” Balayan said. “Baku’s adventurism threatens the security and stability in the region.”

“We strictly condemn these raid attempts by the Azerbaijani military to invade Artsakh, which led to casualties. We deeply share the grief of the families and colleagues of the killed soldiers,” the press secretary said.

The press office of Artsakh’s Ministry of Defense received confirmation on at least two Azerbaijani invaders killed and one wounded as of yesterday. The enemy left various arms and ammunition on the field of battle, including AK make assault rifles with Israeli-made night-vision sights and silencers, special pioneer equipment, four Mukha grenade launchers, and other equipment.

The Armenian Defense Ministry’s spokesman Artsrun Hovhannisian said Friday that there is no immediate threat of a full-scale war in Artsakh, quoting Defense Minister Seyran Ohanian.

“The Armenian military is prepared for any development, but I see no threat of a large-scale war,” Ohanian had told Bloomberg.

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