By Aynur Karimova
The Azerbaijani Armed Forces have made prolonged strikes on the frontline on Armenian artillery, trenches, and positions in recent days in response to provocations by the Armenian Armed Forces. The Armenian side, which has suffered heavy losses as a result, began to fire at the Azerbaijani villages and the local population in the territories adjacent to the contact line of troops, Azerbaijan's Defense Ministry reported on September 4.
"To prevent such actions of the military and political leadership of Armenia, faced with setbacks on the front, the Azerbaijani Armed Forces are taking decisive and appropriate measures," the ministry said.
The Armenian leadership, fearing of even more heavy strikes of the Azerbaijani Armed Forces, began to allegedly evacuate residents from 20 villages in the frontier zone under the pretext of military exercises.
The Defense Ministry noted that if the enemy side does not immediately stop firing on Azerbaijani villages and the local population, the Azerbaijani Armed Forces would destroy the enemy using any weapons system available in service.
The situation along the contact line of Armenian-Azerbaijani troops remains tense despite a ceasefire agreement that the sides signed in 1994.
The Armenian Armed Forces, which occupies the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan and seven surrounding regions, has recently intensified ceasefire breaches.
Frequent ceasefire violations aggravate the situation, leaving the Azerbaijani army no choice but to retaliate.
Armenia and Azerbaijan fought a lengthy war that ended with the signing of a fragile ceasefire in 1994. More than 20,000 Azerbaijanis were killed and over 1 million were displaced as a result of the large-scale hostilities. Since the war, the Armenian Armed Forces have occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan's territory, including Nagorno-Karabakh and seven surrounding regions.
Armenia continues the occupation in defiance of four UN Security Council resolutions calling for immediate and unconditional withdrawal of armed forces.
Peace talks brokered by mediators from Russia, France, and the U.S. have yet to produce any results.
Aynur Karimova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Aynur_Karimova
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