On Wednesday and Thursday, the Azerbaijani army made significant progress in the northern and southern sectors of the front, sources familiar with the situation told Izvestia. Armenian officials admitted that their troops had to retreat. Almost a week after the ceasefire reached in Moscow entered into force, no progress has been observed in the settlement of the Karabakh conflict – Baku and Yerevan, both at the political and military levels, continue to speak the language of ultimatums. It will be difficult for the parties to achieve a real ceasefire due to the irreconcilability of their positions, experts say.
Clash for the mountains
And a truce is not enough: the fighting in Karabakh has returned to the previous level of escalation Russia calls on both sides to adhere to the agreements, but the date of the upcoming meetings has not yet been announced
The most significant advance of the Azerbaijani army was in the south. There she managed to capture the settlements around the village of Hadrut. As a result, the city of Fizuli was threatened with encirclement. In the northern direction, the front line approached Martakert. On Thursday, the concentration of Azerbaijani forces was noted to begin the assault on these two important settlements, sources familiar with the situation told Izvestia.
The day before, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said that the republic’s troops took control of eight settlements in Fizuli and Khojavi regions, as well as strategically important heights around them. He promised “good news” in the near future and about the very regional center of Fizuli, held by the forces of Nagorno-Karabakh.
In his address to the nation on October 14, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan admitted that his country’s armed forces were forced to retreat in some areas of both the northern and southern fronts. He called the reason for this a change in the enemy’s tactics, which went over to the actions of small sabotage detachments, thrown behind the front line.
Consequences of the shelling of Matakert
Photo: TASS / Sergey Bobylev
Old people are flying into battle: can a “cornman” become a kamikaze drone? Izvestia sources report that An-2 is used as attack drones in the zone of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict
For the first time since the beginning of the armistice, Azerbaijan openly announced the destruction of military targets deep in the territory of Armenia itself, and not in the disputed regions of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (NKR). The Ministry of Defense showed drone footage of an attack on two Armenian long-range multiple launch rocket systems (MLRS) near the city of Vardenis and stated that they were going to shell Azerbaijani settlements.
Foreign journalists who visited the site of the strike found wreckage of one of the MLRS there. The General Prosecutor’s Office of Armenia announced the death of two and wounding of 11 soldiers “who were not involved in the hostilities in any way” during the attack. The department opened a criminal case and launched an investigation into this episode.
– Fizuli and Martakert have no serious operational or, moreover, strategic importance. Nevertheless, from the point of view of Azerbaijan, their capture will be a great political success, since the republic considers these territories to be its own, ”military expert Viktor Murakhovsky explained to Izvestia. – Although little remains of the settlements themselves after the hostilities, they are located at the entrance to the mountain valleys. Azerbaijani forces in the southern direction occupied the entire flat and foothill parts in the southern direction. But further up the mountains it will be much harder.
Burnt BMP-2 of the Armenian Armed Forces on Martakert Street
Photo: TASS / Sergey Bobylev
Azerbaijan has achieved serious tactical successes, including in terms of destroying enemy weapons and equipment, the specialist noted. However, according to him, President Aliyev himself announced that the task of the military is “to liberate all the occupied regions.” And this task is far from being completed.
“The idea of storming Martakert and continuing to try to resolve the issue by military means does not have great prospects,” says military expert Vladislav Shurygin. – The two-week offensive, which was being prepared for several years and was supposed to solve cardinal problems, did not solve them. During this time, resources were expended, heavy losses were incurred. In a further offensive, I do not see a great prospect, especially since now the Armenians will also tighten up their reserves. They have already received the skills of war with the new army of Azerbaijan.
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said on October 15 that he considers the military-political path “the most acceptable for resolving the conflict.” He also clarified: Baku will continue to advance in Karabakh until the Armenian side abides by the ceasefire.
Photo: TASS / Valery Sharifulin
Confrontation: what is known about the combat potential of the Armed Forces of Armenia and Azerbaijan. Both countries have at their disposal modern military equipment and tens of thousands of soldiers. But it’s not enough to win
According to Aliyev, since the beginning of hostilities on September 27 in Azerbaijan, 43 civilians have become victims of the conflict, more than 200 have been injured. According to the NKR Ministry of Defense, in the last days after the ceasefire came into force, the number of Armenian soldiers killed in the conflict zone increased by 49 more and in total reached 604 people. After the ceasefire announced at noon on Saturday, it added 228 names.
Azerbaijan does not provide data on its military losses.
On the evening of October 15, the capital of the NKR, the city of Stepanakert, for the first time in the last three days, underwent a massive shelling of rocket launchers from Azerbaijan. About 10 ruptures were recorded in the city. According to the correspondent of Izvestia in Karabakh, shelling continues along the entire front line – the day before, the garrison hospital in Martakert was hit by a missile attack. There were no casualties, eight people were injured.
Adviser to the NKR President David Babayan told Izvestia: despite all Azerbaijan’s attempts to seize the border areas, the front line is holding.
Servicemen in the Martakert military hospital destroyed by shelling
Photo: TASS / Sergey Bobylev
Upland landslide: more and more heavy weapons are being used Armenia and Azerbaijan have not yet used all of their combat capabilities
– Regarding the truce, we understand that it was a political agreement, an agreement to a ceasefire. But the conflict is considered a military-political one, that is, in addition to diplomatic agreements, there should be similar agreements at the military level, the politician emphasized.
The only way to achieve a real truce is to start negotiations at the level of the leaders of the two countries, said the deputy of the Mejlis (parliament) of Azerbaijan, Rasim Musabekov. But for this it is necessary that Yerevan undertakes to withdraw its troops from the five “occupied regions” of Azerbaijan around Karabakh, the MP said.
– Instead of the armed forces of Armenia, separating troops, peacekeepers of the same Russian Federation, for example, may come to these territories. Then the truce will take on a real character, ”the politician concluded in an interview with Izvestia.
According to the President of the Scientific Society of Caucasian Studies Alexander Krylov, Yerevan will not agree to the conditions put forward by the Azerbaijani side – for Armenia it will be tantamount to surrender, surrender of the entire region.
Photo: REUTERS / Umit Bektas
– It is important for the Armenians to protect the interests of the Armenian population of Karabakh, therefore they will fight to the last. Neither Russia nor other members of the OSCE Minsk Group will be able to force them to lay down their arms and agree on the surrender of their territories. Azerbaijan feels that it has an advantage in strength and technology, therefore it continues to believe that it can solve the problem by military means. Therefore, battles are still continuing in the region, the expert stated.
According to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Russian military observers could ensure control of the ceasefire regime in NKR, but the final say rests with the parties to the conflict.