After 22 years, the shaky Armenian-Azeri ceasefire in the Nagorno-Karabakh region fell apart overnight on April 2 with both sides of the front using mortars, artillery, armored vehicles, battle tanks and multiple rocket launchers. Azerbaijan also uses UAVs and helicopters.
Baku and Yerevan blame each other for triggering the hostilities in the mountainous area. However, the most intense fighting on April 2 and April 3 were observed in Martakert (регион) where the Azeri troops were advancing on forces of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, an unrecognized state which is de-facto a province of Armenia.
On April 4, clashes continued with the both sides reporting about successes. For example, Azerbaijan released a statement that it seized the village of Mataghis. The Nagorno-Karabakh military denied this and noted the depth of Azerbaijani advancement doesn’t exceed 300 meters anywhere.
The Azerbaijani Defense Ministry says Armenians have lost 170 troops and 12 armored vehicles, 3 battle tanks and an artillery battery. In turn, the Nagorno-Karabakh military reported that 18 Azeri battle tanks 3 IFV, 6 UAVs and 2 helicopters have been destroyed and 300 Azeri troops have been killed. Videos and photos from the battlefield confirm high intense clashes.
On April 4, Azerbaijan set conditions for ceasefire in the troubled region, saying that Armenia must withdraw from “occupied territories.” In turn, Armenia said it would recognize the region’s independence if the situation on the ground worsens.
The conflict complicates matters for all powers inching into the Caucasus, especially for Russia, Iran and Turkey that also involved in the Syrian war. Russia has a military base in Armenia. Turkey immediately supported Azerbaijan’s stance and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stated that the disputed region will ‘inevitably’ return to Azerbaijan. Iran shares borders with both sides of the front. If the peaceful solution isn’t found fast, the ongoing fighting could develop into a wider conflict destabilizing the Caucasus, dramatically.
SouthFront recommends video “Foreign Policy Diary – Nagorno-Karabakh Standoff: geopolitical struggle in the Caspian Sea region” (02.10.2015):