15 Dead as Azerbaijan Attacks Armenia, Russia Brokers Another Ceasefire

By Armenia Media | Wednesday, 17 November 2021

ARMENIA MEDIA (AUSTRALIA): On 16 November 2021 (local time), Azerbaijan launched attacks on Armenia’s sovereign borders, with the ensuing escalation resulting in the highest level of conflict between the two countries since they signed the Russian-mediated trilateral ceasefire agreement in November 2020.

Azerbaijani Armed Forces launched another provocation in the direction of the eastern border of the Republic of Armenia, firing on the positions around the Syunik province. They shelled Armenian military positions using armored vehicles and firearms.

Yerevan appealed to Russia to defend its sovereign territory, in accordance with the bilateral agreement signed between Armenia and Russia in 1997, before Moscow announced that a ceasefire had been brokered after eight or so hours of attacks.

Eduard Aghajanyan, the Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Foreign Relations reported that Armenia had lost a number of positions, which was later confirmed by the Defence Ministry. Aghajanyan also stated that the Armenian side had 15 confirmed deaths and 12 prisoners of war.

There are conflicting reports of the casualties on the Azerbaijani side, with some reports stating that there are 70 dead, as well as dozens of injuries and the destruction of equipment.

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan called an emergency Security Council meeting, where he said: “There is only one way to describe what is happening: This is a direct aggression on the sovereign territory of the Republic of Armenia. As a result of the aggression that started on May 12 of this year, Azerbaijan has occupied about 41 square kilometres of Armenia’s sovereign territory. And Azerbaijan continues its aggression under the silence of our international partners.”

“My evaluation is definitive: Azerbaijan and the forces that encourage it are targeting our sovereignty, our statehood, our independence. Today was a heavy day and we are living through difficult times. However, today, we also showed that we are here, we exist, we are a state, we are a nation state and the language of coercion is unacceptable for us. We can negotiate, we can look for and find mutually acceptable solutions, we behave as a responsible member of the international community but we will not be talked to in the language of arrogance,” Pashinyan added.

“I call on the international community to adopt statements condemning Azerbaijani aggression. Talks about border disputes are absurd and pointless. There is no border dispute, there is aggression against the sovereign territory of Armenia. The borders between Armenia and Azerbaijan have been clarified through legally binding agreements reached during the Soviet times.”

“And if this really was a border dispute then Azerbaijan should have accepted our offer to withdraw forces along the border simultaneously, deploy observers along the border and begin the process of demarcation and delimitation a while back. An Azerbaijan that will not accept this offer is an aggressor state and should unequivocally remove its forces from the sovereign territory of Armenia. Azerbaijan’s hopes of imposing its will on Armenia are in vain.”

“The Government and the people of the Republic of Armenia are resolute and we will protect our sovereignty, territorial integrity, statehood and independence through all means possible. At the same time, we continue to emphasize the need for a peaceful resolution to the situation at hand and all offers made by us in the past are still in force. We remain true to the provisions of the November 9 and January 11 trilateral statements.”

Pashinyan concluded: “Coming back to the border situation, I should say that the situation on the border at this moment is relatively calm, however the overall situation continues to remain extremely tense.”