By Rashid Shirinov
Azerbaijan’s Armed Forces are fully ready to liberate the occupied lands, Deputy Chief of the General Staff of Azerbaijani Armed Forces, Lieutenant General Nizam Osmanov told Trend on June 14.
He reminded that the Azerbaijani army struck a crushing blow to the enemy while preventing Armenian provocation in April last year.
“This once again demonstrated the power of the Azerbaijani army. Today the Azerbaijani flag is waving in our territories liberated following the April fighting,” Osmanov said.
He added that these battles showed that the Azerbaijani people and state will never tolerate the aggression and will restore the country’s territorial integrity at any cost.
Armenia broke out a lengthy war against Azerbaijan by laying territorial claims on its South Caucasus neighbor. Since a war in the early 1990s, Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan's territory, including Nagorno-Karabakh and seven surrounding regions. More than 20,000 Azerbaijanis were killed and over 1 million were displaced as a result of the large-scale hostilities.
Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding districts.
The situation between the Azerbaijani and Armenian troops on the frontline aggravated on April 2, 2016, after the Armenian military units in the occupied lands began shelling Azerbaijan’s positions. To protect civilian population, Azerbaijani Armed Forces launched counter attacks and as a result, the Azerbaijani troops retook hills around the village of Talish, as well as Seysulan settlement, and also took over Lele Tepe hill located in the direction of Fizuli region.
On April 5, Azerbaijan and Armenia declared a truce brokered by Russia. During the April clashes, over 320 Armenian servicemen were killed, more than 500 Armenian soldiers were injured, 30 enemy tanks and other armored vehicles, as well as more than 25 artillery pieces were destroyed during the counter attacks of Azerbaijan, while Armenian side hides the real figures saying that only 80 soldiers died.