Uzeyir Jafarov: "Armenian side must pay for its crimes this time"
On July 12, units of the armed forces of Armenia, violating the ceasefire in the direction of the Azerbaijani-Armenian state border in the Tovuz region, subjected the positions of the Azerbaijani army to artillery fire, after which they made an unsuccessful attempt to seize the border section of the Azerbaijani territory. In the course of further battles, villages and civilian objects on the Azerbaijani side of the border were repeatedly shelled. In connection with the latest provocation committed by Armenia in the Tovuz region, Vestnik Kavkaza spoke with a military expert Uzeyir Jafarov.
- What is the current operational situation on the border, and can the events of the last days develop into a full-scale war?
- Today the situation in the zone of recent hostilities was calm. However, it became known that yesterday, under the leadership of Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, a meeting was held, where Armenian Defense Minister David Tonoyan and the new Chief of General Staff Onik Gasparyan were present, and it looks like the Armenian side is planning a new provocation.
The events of June 12 were also preceded by certain steps by the Armenian side: Armenian President Armen Sarkissian visited the occupied territories, and former Defense Minister Seyran Ohanyan visited the border regions. There he was presented with a map, to which only the first persons in the military administration have access. I would like to note that Seyran Ohanyan was mired up to his elbows in the blood of Azerbaijani servicemen and civilians when he was the commander of the second battalion of the 366th motorized rifle regiment of the United CIS Forces, which during the Karabakh war took an active part in the occupation of Azerbaijani lands and massacres, including in the massacres of the peaceful population of Khojaly. That is, he has some experience in creating provocations in Karabakh and in the border regions.
Meanwhile, if until recently the Armenian side stubbornly denied losses in manpower, then yesterday the head of the press service of the Armenian Defense Ministry Shushan Stepanyan admitted the loss of two officers, two conscripts. Today they are already talking about ten wounded and seriously wounded servicemen. That is, this is the tried and tested method of the Armenian side, tried back in April 2016, to first declare that they have no losses, and then gradually disclose the information.
This time the Armenian side must answer for its crimes. In this battle, we lost high-ranking officers of the Azerbaijani army, General Polad Gashimov, Colonel Ilgar Mirzoyev and other officers. Therefore, I think that the Azerbaijani side will not leave these crimes of the Armenian military unanswered ...
At the same time, much will depend on the actions of the Armenian side. They are interested in the tension developing not only into local battles, but into battles that can last for several days. I personally do not see anything good for the Armenian side. The weapons they have are very weak compared to those that Azerbaijan has. Do you remember how the Armenian side was offended by Israel because it sold to Azerbaijan kamikaze drones, which, by the way, are now also used in this direction. There is documentary footage when our drones hit the stronghold of the Armenian armed forces, not only manpower was destroyed, but also the infrastructure, military equipment, cars.
In short, there are incommensurable differences between the capabilities of the armed forces of Azerbaijan and Armenia. It is difficult for me to understand the actions of the Armenian commanders, who, knowing about the advantage of the Azerbaijani side, conduct such a crazy policy, go to provocations.
- For what heights are battles going on, and what is the benefit for Armenia from getting these heights?
- In the village of Agdam (not to be confused with the regional center of Agdam), there is one height, which makes it possible to control the railway, as well as the main road of the Tovuz region. Tovuz is one of the largest regions of Azerbaijan, so in this case it is also difficult for me to understand the Armenian military leaders, who know perfectly well that this is the territory of Azerbaijan, and not a neutral area. How can you strive for this height?
I believe that Armenia made a gross mistake by committing this crime on the territory of Azerbaijan. To be continued. There will be losses both from the Azerbaijani side and from the Armenian side. In the near future, provocations can be expected in different areas. For a long time there has been no disturbing news from the Nakhichevan Autonomous Republic. This time the Armenian nationalists also violated the ceasefire there, although they know the capabilities of the Nakhichevan Separate Arms Army. They are sufficient to carry out a very voluminous work in a short time due to the Kasyrga missile launchers purchased from Turkey, as well as from Belarus.
Nikol Pashinyan's experiments this time will end in tears for him. I say this not as an Azerbaijani or a skeptic, but as a professional military man who analyzes the capabilities, forces and means.
The Armenian side hoped for the CSTO, but the CSTO has no mandate on Karabakh. They have a mandate on Armenia - if Azerbaijan attacks Armenia (though Azerbaijan never had a desire to attack Armenia).
The CSTO understands Pashinyan's "cunning". He recently came "from the street" to the political arena and thinks that smart, literate people will fall for his bait. It will not happen. Thank God, the world already understands everything, everyone knows. Azerbaijan is supported by Turkey and Pakistan. I was pleasantly surprised by yesterday's statement by Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif. Iran actively supports Armenia, even in some cases of separatists, but yesterday's statement by the minister suggests that Iran already understands that Azerbaijan has one task in this matter - to put an end to the bacchanalia that Armenia is creating in the region.
- Do all the posts now remain in the hands of Azerbaijani units?
- Our servicemen did not retreat a single step from their positions. But from the Armenian side such misinformation is launched that one is simply amazed! How can you say that they allegedly took some heights on Azerbaijani territory? Even if it is theoretically assumed that they took it, is it possible to gain a foothold there? They show some kind of primitive trenches, as if some kind of posts, some kind of positions are being equipped. But this is ridiculous! It is impossible to do anything against the weapons that Azerbaijan has. Armenia simply had the task of using a third force - the CSTO. This, too, did not work for them. The gamble that was started by Pashinyan failed.
- According to your observations, what was the nature of the battles? Was it trench warfare or was the enemy trying to maneuver?
- On the 12th, the Armenian side began shelling. After the retaliatory shelling followed, they suffered losses, and when the kamikaze drones were involved, they realized that this time they would receive a strong blow, which happened. Then they tried to transfer hostilities from the Tovuz region towards Gazakh, to the village of Khanlyglar. This did not work either. Then they started shooting at civilians, not only at the military. They launched misinformation that Azerbaijan was allegedly shelling the city of Berd, although there was no such thing. They didn't even present any evidence. Previously, they tried to somehow fabricate facts, allegedly shot down some kind of drone. They showed that this drone belongs to Azerbaijan, but this time there was no such thing ... Yesterday, they probably explained that the further, the worse. Therefore, it is now relatively calm. But I think that the tension will return in the coming days, and there will certainly be losses.