The world community called on the authorities of Armenia and Azerbaijan to a mutual ceasefire. On the eve it became known about armed clashes along the entire border between the two countries. The media reported dozens of deaths and injuries on both sides. Photos of captured soldiers and destroyed military equipment are published on the Web. Despite the fact that the parties agreed on a ceasefire, experts warn: a new full-scale military campaign could begin in the foreseeable future.
The military situation in Transcaucasia sharply deteriorated. For the first time since the end of the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh, Armenia and Azerbaijan again found themselves on the verge of a full-scale military conflict. On the morning of November 16, fighting broke out along the entire border between the two countries and continued throughout the day.
According to data published on the Web, both sides actively used barreled and heavy artillery. The official position of the Armenian Foreign Ministry says that “another provocation in the direction of the eastern border of the Republic of Armenia” led to a sharp aggravation. In Azerbaijan, however, they placed all the responsibility on Armenia, stating that Yerevan is not interested in delimiting the border.
The Armenian Defense Ministry published a video showing the destruction of Azerbaijani military equipment. At the same time, the Armenian authorities acknowledged the loss of several positions. According to the official statement of the department, 12 Armenian servicemen were captured: seven contract soldiers and five conscripts. On the Azerbaijani side, a large number of photographs of dozens of captured Armenian soldiers appeared on the Web, as well as a video filmed on an artillery battery of D-30 howitzers. The deaths of ten soldiers were admitted.
Officials from several countries and international organizations called on the parties for an immediate ceasefire. On the night of November 16-17, this regime officially entered into force and, at the time of this writing, was respected by both sides.
However, as military expert Alexander Mikhailovsky is sure, the next exacerbation may become a prologue for the start of full-scale hostilities. In an interview with MK, the expert added that what happened can be considered “reconnaissance in force” by Azerbaijan before the start of a new war.
– The formal reason for the start of the firefight, as far as I understand, was the attack of a resident of Karabakh on the checkpoint of the Azerbaijani military. He threw a grenade at a group of soldiers. On the whole, both sides are inclined to continue the conflict, because all the ceasefires only postponed the solution of the main regional issues, which by themselves have not gone anywhere. Military actions can flare up literally at any time, and, as we see, the situation as a whole is not in favor of Armenia.
– And what goal can both sides of the conflict pursue in this case?
– For Azerbaijan and Turkey, I do not separate them here, the key task is to occupy the Syunik corridor. It is a small region that separates Azerbaijan from Turkey. That Baku has such plans has been repeatedly warned in Iran, for example. Actually, almost no one hides it. Turkey and Azerbaijan need a land corridor between the two countries. Therefore, one way or another, in one form or another, they will try to achieve this goal. And Turkey cannot be left out of brackets here. (Now the length of the border of Azerbaijan with Turkey is about 15 km, it runs along the Araks River, and from the Azerbaijani side it is the border of the Nakhichevan Autonomous Republic, which is separated from the rest of Azerbaijan by an Armenian territory 40 kilometers wide – the Syunik region of Armenia, aka Zangezur. Azerbaijan has shown its intention to build a road from Baku to Nakhichevan through the Syunik region. – “MK” ).
Several attack drones circled around the border with Armenia yesterday. Rather, they were showing intent rather than preparing to attack. But the result is obvious.
Turkey has a serious economic crisis, the collapse of the national currency. In such conditions, a small victorious war is a good way out.
– But have you managed to achieve an armistice so far?
– If you remember, the conflict in Karabakh in September-November 2020 was preceded by a short conflict that lasted for several days in July. They shot and it seemed they dispersed. In fact, reconnaissance in force was simply carried out there. They looked at the reaction of the Armenians, probed the weak points in the defense line. And then a full-scale military operation began, which is known how it ended. Even now, I would very much like to be mistaken, but it seems that Azerbaijan is looking for weak points in the enemy’s defense, so that then with one blow to close the issue with the Syunik corridor.