Baku, Azerbaijan, June 14
By Samir Ali – Trend:
Azerbaijan’s Armed Forces are completely ready to liberate the occupied Azerbaijani lands, Deputy Chief of General Staff of the Armed Forces, Lieutenant-General Nizam Osmanov said in Baku June 14.
Osmanov recalled that in April 2016, the Azerbaijani Armed Forces, preventing a provocation of Armenia, inflicted a crushing blow on it.
“This once again demonstrated the power of the Azerbaijani army,” he noted.
“Today, the Azerbaijani flag flies in our territories liberated in the April battles. The April battles demonstrated that the Azerbaijani people and state will never reconcile with aggression, and will restore the country’s territorial integrity at any cost,” added Lieutenant-General Osmanov.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts. The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts.
On the night of April 2, 2016, all the frontier positions of Azerbaijan were subjected to heavy fire from the Armenian side, which used large-caliber weapons, mortars and grenade launchers. The armed clashes resulted in deaths and injuries among the Azerbaijani population. Azerbaijan responded with a counter-attack, which led to liberation of several strategic heights and settlements.
Military operations were stopped on the line of contact between Azerbaijani and Armenian armies on Apr. 5 at 12:00 (UTC/GMT + 4 hours) with the consent of the sides, Azerbaijan's Defense Ministry had said. Ignoring the agreement, the Armenian side again started violating the ceasefire.