Karabakh Army Capable Of Repelling Azeri Attack – NKR Minister


21 Aug 07

Yerevan, 21 August: Speaking at a news conference in Stepanakert today
[21 August], Nagornyy Karabakh republic [NKR] defence minister Lt-Gen
Movses Hakobyan said that "passive positional warfare is going on
at the contact line of the Nagornyy Karabakh and Azerbaijani armed
forces practically every day".

He said that Azerbaijan is continuing its attempts to advance
its positions closer to the vanguard positions of the NKR Defence
Army. However, the Karabakh units do not allow the adversary to
advance and take the initiative. In this context, Hakobyan confirmed
that the situation on the contact line escalated a few weeks ago
resulting in a firefight. "We will continue to strictly thwart the
adversary’s attempts to get closer to our positions," he said.

He said that though the Nagornyy Karabakh armed forces are called
Defence Army, "we will not only defend ourselves but counterattack
if necessary." He added that the Karabakh army is capable of carrying
out its main task: ensure the security of the NKR and maintain peace
on the contact line.

Commenting on the recent media reports about Azerbaijan obtaining
military hardware from Russia, Hakobyan said that this fact raises
concern in Karabakh. He said, however, that the republic’s leadership
does whatever it can to raise the army’s capability. He said, in
particular, that the entire territory of Nagornyy Karabakh is under
the effective defence of air defence forces and "Azerbaijan will not
be able to bomb Stepanakert as was the case during the war".

"If the Azerbaijani political leadership was sure of its success,
it would immediately unleash a war against Nagornyy Karabakh without
paying attention to international structures," he said.