Heydar Mirza: Nagorno-Karabakh situation returns to April 2016
Armenia's occupying forces have switched to the regime of regular provocations in the zone of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, due to which the tension on the front line is comparable to that which preceded the 2016 April battles for Karabakh, the military expert, presenter of Radius TV program Heydar Mirza said, speaking with the correspondent of Vestnik Kavaza.
"There was no such tension on the front line since April 2016. Last summer, the increased tension was more likely of a general nature - due to regime change in Armenia. The Azerbaijani armed forces regrouped, conducted large-scale and smaller specialized exercises in June-July. But there was no such tension on the front line," he noted in the first place.
"Now it is completely different: there are victims, one after another in a short period of time. A video showing the use of air-defense missiles was published yesterday. The very fact that the Azerbaijani Ministry of Defense's press service published such a video is already a sign of strategic tension," Heidar Mirza stressed.
The expert stressed that the Pashinyan team is delaying a peaceful settlement much more harshly than ex-President Serzh Sargsyan. "The negotiation process has never been torpedoed so seriously as it is now, and it’s already a matter of Armenia's internal policy, the conflict between Pashinyan and the Karabakh clan. Because of this, they make opposing statements," the presenter of Radius explained.
"After Major Agil Omarov was killed, two Armenian soldiers were eliminated, then the occupants killed Elshan Khalilov. After that, the head of the press service of Armenia's Defense Ministry Artsrun Hovhannisyan wrote on Facebook that those who killed the Azerbaijani soldiers have already been awarded, and a representative of the so-called 'Nagorno-Karabakh' says that there were no incidents on the front line. This shows the conflict between Yerevan and the Karabakh clan," he said.
"These contradictions in the camp of the invaders suggest that the situation has become so tense because of them as well. In my opinion, the current provocations of Armenia are enough for Azerbaijan to take more effective and large-scale measures on the front line," Heidar Mirza concluded.
Agil Omarov was killed on May 30 during a visit of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs to Baku. Soldier Elshan Khalilov was killed on June 9. Yesterday, Azerbaijan's Ministry of Defense published a video capturing the rocket fired by Armenian air defense weapons in the direction of an Azerbaijani plane.
All this testifies to the escalation of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and the need for the international community to react to the changed situation on the line of contact between the Azerbaijani troops and the occupying forces. Measures should be taken on the part of international mediators to reduce tensions; otherwise, its escalation may result in new large-scale hostilities.