By Abdul Kerimkhanov
Armenian Defense Minister David Tonoyan recently denied conspiracy theories around the four day April 2016 war with Azerbaijan in which Azerbaijan liberated some of its territories.
The war in question took place three years ago when Armenia undertook the largest provocation since the signing of peace agreement in 1994, subjecting all Azerbaijani positions to heavy shelling from large-caliber weapons, mortars and grenade launchers. The armed clashes resulted in deaths and injuries among the Azerbaijani population. Azerbaijan’s counter-attack led to liberation of several strategic heights and settlements, including Leletepe height, the heights around Talish village, as well as the liberation of more than 2,000 hectares of land in the territories of the Fizuli, Jabrayil and Agdere regions that are under Armenian occupation.
Armenia’s defeat in the April war shattered the myth among Armenians that the Armenian army is stronger and mightier than Azerbaijan’s army.
Three years after the defeat, Armenians could not get over the fact that the modern Azerbaijani army is far superior than the Armenian army both in terms of military personnel and military hardware and weaponry.
Armenian National Assembly even set up a special commission to investigate the April war of 2016.
After the four-day war in 2016, ex-president Serj Sargsyan and ex-defense minister Seyran Ohanyan sought to deny the country's military defeat in every possible way. They categorically rejected collapse of myth about “invincibility” of the Armenian army, as well as the quick and easy overcoming of the so-called “Ohanyan line”. However, later, the Armenian leadership had to admit defeat and even vowed to occupy the lands liberated by Azerbaijan.
The responsibility for the outcome of the four-day April war lies precisely with Sargsyan and Ohanian. Armenians themselves understand that the reason for the defeat of the Armenian army was Sargsyan’s and Ohanyan’s assurances that the Azerbaijani army would not strike back in response to provocations from the Armenian side. That is, due to provocative actions by Armenian military-political leadership, Azerbaijan was forced to carry out a quick-fix operation. A key member of the Karabakh Committee Igor Muradyan admitted that the “four-day war” brought Armenia the shame of military defeat.
Armenia’s Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan used the April war of 2016 as a tool against his opponent Sargsyan and in a bid to aggrandize himself. Pashinyan went so far as to coin a conspiracy theory around the April war, saying that Sargsyan deliberately lost four-day war in order to make “concessions” to Azerbaijan.
In 2019, Pashinyan ordered to set up an investigative commission to study the circumstances of the April war. Parliament Speaker Ararat Mirzoyan announced that the powers of this commission would be performed by Andranik Kocharyan, who is currently Chairman of the Permanent Parliamentary Committee on Defense and Security.
Obviously, Pashinyan, as in the case of ex-president Robert Kocharyan, has an impact on the course of the investigation, demanding to find evidence of the crimes of the previous authorities.
Pashinyan’s conspiracy theory was supported by his administration. Until Defence Minister David Tonoyan made a statement on October 27, denying there was no conspiracy around the April war.
In fact, Tonoyan’s statement indicates a split in the top leadership of this country. This is also evidenced by the endless scandals associated with Pashinyan's name.
It should be noted that earlier the Armenian media reported that Tonoyan would resign as Defence Minister. The reports were later denied by Tonoyan.
Abdul Kerimkhanov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AbdulKerim94
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