Baku, Azerbaijan, April 2
The Armenian army is completely demoralized, its military and political strategy has failed, Colonel Vagif Dargahli, head of the press service of Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry, told Trend April 2.
He was commenting on the military results of the April 2016 clashes.
On April 2, 2016, all the frontier positions and settlements of Azerbaijan were subjected to heavy fire by the Armenian Armed Forces. As a result of the shelling of Azerbaijan’s settlements located along the line of contact, civilians were killed, including two children. Numerous public and private facilities, including civil infrastructure, were severely damaged as a result of the attack.
Azerbaijan responded with an armed offensive, which resulted in four days of fighting, as the country liberated several important strategic spots previously occupied by Armenian Armed Forces. As many as 30 tanks, more than 25 armored guns and fortifications belonging to the Armenians were destroyed, more than 320 Armenian soldiers were killed and more than 500 servicemen of the enemy were wounded during the clashes.
As a result of the successful counteroffensive, more than 2,000 hectares of territory were liberated from the Armenian occupation.
"There is no doubt that the escalation of the situation on the frontline from April 2 to 5 2016, and Armenia's attempt to carry out another military provocation against Azerbaijan, was planned by the opposite side in advance," according to Dargahli.
"The analyzes of the causes and results of the events, proves that Armenia was ready to use any moment to commit sabotage on the contact line of the troops, and not only during this period, but also earlier. In October 2014, immediately after the Paris meeting of the presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia, the Armenian side conducted large-scale military exercises in the occupied Azerbaijani territories with participation of 46,000 personnel and over 5,000 units of military equipment. During these exercises, the Mi-24 helicopter deployed at the Erebuni military base in Armenia carried out a direct attack on the Azerbaijani positions and was destroyed by the units of the Azerbaijani Armed Forces. From that moment, Armenia began to purposefully aggravate the situation on the front line and on the state border and continued to commit provocations," he said.
Moreover, according to Dargahli, the state border was chosen as the main target, as Armenia pursued the goal of attracting a third party to the conflict.
At the same time, in early 2015, the process of fundamental changes started in the military doctrine of Armenia, Dargahli said.
“Various people in the political and military leadership of Armenia tried to create an ideological ground for further aggressive activity,” he noted.
He added that starting from mid-March 2016, the Armenian armed forces, having expanded provocative activities, increased the shelling of border settlements and civilians residing in the villages located close to the contact line.
The Armenian side started to use large-caliber weapons, grenade launchers, mortars, as well as artillery systems with caliber of above 120 millimeters, he said.
“The units of the Azerbaijani army struck back every time, and this led to losses in the enemy’s manpower and combat equipment,” he noted. “Wanting to take revenge for the failures at the frontline, the criminal military-political regime of Armenia once again tried to commit a provocation. Thus, on April 2, 2016, all the frontier positions and settlements of Azerbaijan were subjected to heavy fire by the Armenian Armed Forces. Thanks to the joint coordinated activity of Azerbaijan’s military units, artillery units and other kinds of troops located in the Aghdere-Tartar-Aghdam and Khojavand-Fizuli directions of the frontline, retaliatory measures were taken against the Armenian armed units in a short time.”
As a result of attack, the enemy suffered losses in manpower, military equipment. Also other military infrastructure was destroyed, he added.
The Armenian armed forces suffered heavy losses in these clashes, he said.
“The enemy repeatedly tried to return the lost territories by bringing additional military force from Armenia, including mercenaries and volunteers, but every time received a decent response and retreated,” Dargahli said. “Despite that during these clashes almost all Armenia’s military forces were involved in the operations, the Azerbaijani army attracted to military operations only a part of the forces located on the front line.”
The processes that occurred in the military-political leadership of Armenia after these events revealed problems and shortcomings in the apparatus of the government, including in the military structure of Armenia, he noted.
Azerbaijan continues all the necessary measures to fulfill the tasks facing the Azerbaijani army, the operational situation along the frontline is fully controlled, and the Azerbaijani Armed Forces are ready to stop any provocations of the enemy, he added.
“The greatest assessment of the Azerbaijani army’s activity during the April clashes was given by Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev,” Dargahli said. “The words of the supreme commander-in-chief of Azerbaijan’s Armed Forces that April clashes demonstrated the might of the state and the army, unity, solidarity and patriotism of the Azerbaijani people are the highest assessment that was given to the April operations.”