BAKU: Expected escalation

Turan Information Agency, Azerbaijani Opposition

Expected escalation

by Turan Analytical Service

The 25th anniversary of the seizure by the Armed Forces of Armenia of
the Lachin region of Azerbaijan was marked by a military-diplomatic
escalation in the zone of the Karabakh conflict.

The Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group (MG) made a statement on this
issue on May 18, the tone of which speaks of excessive tension not
only on both sides of the contact of the fire, but also in the camp of
the mediating countries wedged between Azerbaijan and Armenia.

We condemn the recent violations of the ceasefire agreement and call
on the parties to take all necessary measures to prevent further
escalation in the conflict zone, the joint statement of the
representatives of the United States, Russia and France says.

According to the MG"s information gathered from several reliable
sources, on May 15, the Azerbaijani armed forces fired a missile at
the contact line, destroying the military equipment of the Armenian
side. In the evening of May 16 and May 17, the Armenian armed forces
struck back with mortar fire of various calibers. These actions
constitute significant violations of the ceasefire on both sides and
are a cause for concern, the statement said.

On May 15 the Ministry of Defense of Azerbaijan promptly reported that
the antiaircraft missile system "OCA" of the Armenian antiaircraft
forces on the same day was taken to a new position in the
Fuzuli-Khojevend direction of the front, and an attempt was made to
take control of Azerbaijan's airspace. "In order to prevent the threat
to Azerbaijani aircraft and suppress enemy activity, the anti-aircraft
missile system" OSA "and the transport-loading machine were completely
put out of action by fire, the personnel was destroyed."

The question arises as to what purpose the Armenian command put
forward to the advanced positions of the Antiaircraft missile complex
(AMC), which, according to Turan, actually took place. It is possible
that these actions pursued the goal of seizing the position,
convenient destruction of Azerbaijani unmanned vehicles, which until
now have not been reached for Armenian air defense. It is possible
that the Armenian side checked the ability of the Azerbaijani army to
fight against closed, closed targets.

In any case, the moving of the missile launcher to the line of contact
was provocative and resulted in unnecessary casualties among Armenian
Armed Forces personnel, which official Yerevan does not recognize.

This event shows that the parties to the conflict have not changed
their military-political approach to the conflict settlement 25 years
after the occupation of Lachin, which initiated the occupation of the
entire Karabakh region, a bloody war and the long-standing destructive
confrontation between the two South Caucasian states.

The military escalation that took place on May 15-17 was expected in
the light of the March official and unofficial statements of the sides
about the readiness to strike at the infrastructure facilities in the
depths for hundreds of kilometers. They sounded on the eve of the
first anniversary of the April battles, which marked the beginning of
another round of the arms race and mutual threats.

In the article "The April war - the tendency to escalate" of the
analytical service of Turan on April 2, 2017, conclusions were drawn
about strengthening the force line of Armenia and Azerbaijan in the
context of the conflict settlement, the military component of the
Karabakh settlement and the development of much larger events of
military significance.

A tough assessment of the reaction of the co-chairs of the MG by the
Foreign Ministry of Azerbaijan and the principled position regarding
the incident, which was expressed in this quote: "The armed forces of
the Azerbaijan Republic are in the sovereign territories of Azerbaijan
and against the backdrop of the occupation of Azerbaijani territories
by Armenia, they provide defense of our country and the security of
the civilian population," testify coming new escalations of a military
nature with the observer position of international observers.

Emil Lazarian

“I should like to see any power of the world destroy this race, this small tribe of unimportant people, whose wars have all been fought and lost, whose structures have crumbled, literature is unread, music is unheard, and prayers are no more answered. Go ahead, destroy Armenia . See if you can do it. Send them into the desert without bread or water. Burn their homes and churches. Then see if they will not laugh, sing and pray again. For when two of them meet anywhere in the world, see if they will not create a New Armenia.” - WS