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Situation escalates on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border, casualties on both sides

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On July 14, the third day of escalation on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border, the situation remains very tense. Various reports state that both sides have used artillery, and that large territories adjacent to the battlefield, including villages, are being shelled.

Baku reports that 12 Azerbaijani soldiers have been killed, including high-ranking officers.

Yerevan reports that two soldiers have died.

Both sides accuse one another of escalating tensions and say that the casualties experienced by the other side are significantly larger.

The escalation began on July 12 with an incident on the border of the Tovuz District in Azerbaijan and the Tavush Province in Armenia.

The Azerbaijani side announced that Armenian soldiers “tried to go on the offensive in order to seize ground.”

The Armenian Ministry of Defense accused the authorities of Azerbaijan of starting the provocation. At first it was reported that the Azerbaijani military tried to violate the border of Armenia. Then, the Armenian authorities announced that Azerbaijan was unleashing ongoing artillery fire on Armenian settlements.

“The two countries need a direct line of communication” – international response

The European Union called on both countries to end the armed conflict and take measures to prevent further escalation.

The same statement was made by the co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, who act as mediators in the process of resolving the Karabakh conflict.

The co-chairs stated that they are in contact with both parties, but urge them to use the direct channel of communication existing between them.

President Putin’s spokesperson released a statement expressing concern and calling for restraint on both sides. Russia is one of the countries co-chairing the OSCE Minsk Group.

The Collective Security Treaty Organization, led by Russia, called for the ceasefire to be resumed immediately. Armenia is a member of this organization.

A brief timeline of recent events on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border, as told be official sources from both countries.

Life on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border from Soviet times to the present day

Armenia: Limited access to education – the unseen consequence of conflict

Op-ed: You’d better lie truthfully

Information from Yerevan

On the morning of July 14, Yerevan reported that during the night, the Armenian Armed Forces had noticed an enemy tank driving past and opened fire on it. Shushan Stepanyan, spokesperson for the Armenian Ministry of Defense, wrote about this on her Facebook page.

“At this moment, the border is relatively calm,” Stepanyan wrote.

She also posted a video about the incident on the border and explained what was happening on the video:

“The Armenian Armed Forces are destroying defensive bases in Azerbaijan, where they open fired at the border with the settlements in the Tavush Province. Watch the final part carefully.”

Later on July 14, the Armenian Ministry of Defense reported that an Azerbaijani drone had hit the border village of Berd:

“The enemy took out civilian infrastructure in the city of Berd with a drone strike. There are no victims.”

The ministry says that during the first two days of the escalation at the border, other border villages – Movses, Chinari, Aygepar and Nerkin Karmirakhpyur, were bombarded.

The Armenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs lays the blame on Azerbaijan.

“Baku continues its acts of aggression on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border, intentionally targeting civilian infrastructure and civilians, expanding the area of the conflict,” states a release from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs press service.

The release also promises “a proportionate response to these aggressive actions.”

Eyewitness accounts

Hamlet Melkumyan, a resident of Berd, the epicenter of the incident, said that the situation there is generally calm.

“Everyone is busy with their work. People understand that they must be ready at all times during a period of tension, everyone knows what needs to be done. Only schoolchildren worry. But they are not intimidated and are ready to take shelter in the basements if the situation worsens.”

Hacker attacks government sites – evidence points to Azerbaijan

The tensions are not just limited to the real Armenian-Azerbaijani border, but also exist in cyberspace.

On the afternoon of July 14, news broke that the official website of the Armenian Prime Minister had been hacked. The press service of Nikol Pashinyan has not yet commented on the situation.

In addition, the Armenian government website had been hacked. Neither sites were able to load.

Armenian experts claim that evidence from the attack pointed to Azerbaijan.

Summary of social media discussions

Trend One: the enemy is cruel and treacherous, but the Armenian army is in control of the situation

“We don’t need to laud them too heavily, of course. But we should be happy that our army is effective.”

Trend Two: no one should rejoice over casualties on either side

“I suppose I’ll get stoned for saying this, but I still don’t understand why we have this culture where people can’t get enough of hearing about the deaths of enemies.”

Trend Three: they’re only doing what’s needed

“We must respond as strongly as possible to all provocations. And recently, Azerbaijanis have begun to threaten us more and more for who knows what reason!”

Aggressive rhetoric against Azerbaijan is growing amongst Armenian Facebook users in general.

Information from Baku

On July 14, the incident on the border was the one thing all media sources reported on and the main source of discussion on Azerbaijani social media sites.

Early in the morning, the head of the press service of the Ministry of Defense of Azerbaijan, Colonel Vagif Dargyakhly, reported that Armenian Armed Force units were shelling the villages of Agdam and Alibeyli in the Tovuz region of Azerbaijan using large-caliber weapons and artillery cannons.

Soon, a report was confirmed that a general had died in the war zone. This was announced at a briefing not far from the front line in the Tovuz region by Deputy Minister of Defense of Azerbaijan Kerim Veliyev.

He also said that a colonel, two majors, two ensigns and a re-engaged soldier of the Azerbaijani army had died.

Veliyev said that on the night of July 13-14, fierce battles continued in the Tovuz region, and at least 100 people had been killed and equipment had been destroyed on the Armenian side.

On July 14, they reported that the shelling had killed 75-year-old disabled man Aziz Azizov, a resident of the village of Agdam in the Tovuz region.

Eyewitness reports

TV channels broadcast messages from villages at the epicenter of the incident. People say that they do not want to leave their homes and will remain on their territory.

In this video interview, local residents say: “Armenians have been firing from heavy artillery since July 12. But our army is much stronger than the Armenian army. Armenians have received, and will continue to receive, an appropriate response to their actions.”

The State Office of Public Prosecutor of Azerbaijan declared that Armenian military personnel have committed war crimes against the civilian population of Azerbaijan. An investigation team is working at the scene, and after they gather the proper documentation, criminal cases will be initiated and measures will be taken within the framework of international law, read the prosecutor general’s statement.

Ukraine, Moldova, and Turkey noted the importance of the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan welcomed the statements of the Foreign Ministries of Ukraine, Moldova and Turkey. These countries stated that they are in favor of an early settlement of the conflict between the two countries within the framework of the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan and the borders recognized by the international community.

Summary of comments on social media

Trend One: Lavrov’s plan (Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs)

“What happened in Tovuz is all part of Lavrov’s secret plan. We cannot allow Russian troops to be deployed in the zone of contact between the troops.”

Trend Two: The Enemy Must Be Punished

“The death of any of our soldiers and privates is a tragedy, it is painful. But killing an officer is a different level of audacity, for which the enemy should be punished without any talk of peace negotiations, which Pashinyan himself has openly shot down all the time recently. So now I think there is no other way. It is impossible to stop, just as it was four years ago, at the request of our neighbors, NATO, OSCE, UN, and Washington. In the end, none of them had done anything in a long enough time for justice to triumph without war. ”

Trend Three: fear for their children who serve in the army

“Parents with children who are serving now have been extremely worried these past few days, to put it mildly.. As always, those who have not served a day and have never smelled gunpowder, the happy few who own certificates exempting them from service – they are ones chanting and calling the loudest [for war].”

The post Situation escalates on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border, casualties on both sides appeared first on English Jamnews.

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Man Wanted In Assault During Armenian Protest At Azerbaijani Consulate

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LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Help is needed to identify a man police say was involved in an assault during a protest at the Azerbaijan Consulate in Brentwood last month.

Armenian Americans demonstrated on July 12 outside the consulate over border tensions between Armenia and Azerbaijani, leading to a melee involving about 100 protesters and counter-protesters. Police say they are investigating at least three of the assaults as hate crimes.

Los Angeles police released images Wednesday of one man who was accompanied by two others in hitting someone in the head with their fists and throwing him to the ground.

All three suspects were described as Middle Eastern men in their mid-20s to 30s. Police say the man whose image was released is believed to be between 25 and 35 years old, between 5-foot-5 and 5-foot-8, about 160 to 180 pounds and had a bald, shaved head, and a black beard. He was photographed wearing a light orange or pink-colored shirt and wore an unknown-type wrist band on his left wrist.

The other two suspects wore black T-shirts and blue jeans. No further information was released about them.

Police did not say if this incident is one of the three being investigated as a hate crime.

Anyone with information about the suspect or the assault can contact LAPD Officer Jason Perez at (310) 444-1532.

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Hundreds of Azerbaijani Jews Demonstrate Against Armenia’s Aggression

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On Monday in Tel Aviv-Jaffa, between 500 and 600 Azerbaijani Jews marched along the Old City of Jaffa and then demonstrated outside of the Armenian Cultural Center and the Armenian Church. They were angry about the fact that in a recent border skirmish, Armenian mortar fire killed a 76-year-old Azerbaijani citizen and 12 Azerbaijani servicemen, after there was intense hostilities for several days in the Tovuz region of Azerbaijan.

Rabbi Shmuel Siman Tov, who addressed the demonstration, declared that Armenia killed his in-law and his brother, and he accused Armenia of engaging in illegal conquests, in reference to Armenia’s occupation of the Nagorno-Karabakh region in violation of four UN Security Council Resolutions and seven other Azeri districts: “We demand that the Armenian Armed Forces will withdraw from the historic Azerbaijani lands of Nagorno-Karabakh and 7 adjacent Azerbaijani regions. Azerbaijan and Israel stand together. Am Israel Chai! Am Azerbaijan Chai.”

Israeli political analyst Arye Gut, who organized the demonstration, also spoke out against the occupation of Karabakh: “On behalf of the Azerbaijani-Jewish diaspora of Israel, I responsibly declare that our demonstration in support of Azerbaijan and the Azerbaijani soldiers is absolutely peaceful, and we, as Israelis, immigrants from Azerbaijan, have the right, within the framework of Israeli legislation, to hold demonstrations where we think it is necessary. We have no intentions to commit any provocations either against the Armenian cultural center, nor against the Armenian church. We are immigrants from Azerbaijan, citizens of Israel – tolerant of all peoples and religions.”

“We only demand that Armenia comply with the UN Security Council resolutions and liberate Nagorno-Karabakh and 7 adjacent regions of Azerbaijan, which are the historical and internationally recognized territory of Azerbaijan, and have one million Azerbaijani refugees return to their ancestral land,” Gut reiterated.

“Armenia is striving by all means possible to spoil relations between Israel and Azerbaijan,” he added. “They can’t do it. Azerbaijan is a real strategic partner of Israel in the world. Azerbaijan is an example of multiculturalism and tolerance. Today, there is a 25,000-strong Jewish community in Azerbaijan. And in contrast, Armenia has almost no Jews. There are 50 ethnic Jews in Armenia.”

“How can we, Israelis, react to the monument erected four years ago in Yerevan to commemorate Nzhadeh, an anti-Semite and apparent Nazi accomplice,” Gut asked rhetorically. “The prolongation of his memory is a reprehensible insult to the memory of the victims of the Holocaust. For me personally, someone whose grandfather lost all members of his family to the Nazi atrocities in the Ukraine, this is irredeemable emotionally painful. It is no longer a hushed secret, and the ideology of fascism, the glorification of Armenian fascists and Nazis who worked closely with Nazi Germany, are being promoted at the state level in Armenia. What is even more outrageous is that the fascist ideology called Nzhadehism is included in Armenia’s educational institutions curriculum and generations are brought up on these values. The Jewish people will never forget the acts of cruelty committed by the 20,000 Armenian legionnaires led by Nzhdeh during World War II. Historic documents confirm this fact. The purpose of the Armenian Legion led by Nzhdeh was to raid the homes and destroy the lives of Jews, as well as others objectionable to the Germany Army. It was thanks to the Armenian Legion that the towns of Simferopol, Yevpatoria, Alushta, Kerch and Feodosia, as well as other areas of Western Crimea, were completedly expunged of Jews. Garagen Nzhdeh is a national hero and has a memorial in the middle of Yerevan. He was a fascist but because he was Armenian, he is a national hero. It does not work like that.”

The head of the Azerbaijani House in Israel Shirin Nehamia Michaeli thanked the compatriots who supported the march: “On the ancient land of Azerbaijan, Judaism, Islam and Christianity coexisted. This land continues to show an incredible desire for religious tolerance today. Azerbaijanis have lived for centuries and feel like brothers. They are linked by a common destiny and common history.”

“And we declare with full responsibility to the whole world and, most importantly, to the Armenian occupiers that the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is both our tragedy and pain, since truth and justice are on Azerbaijan’s side,” she proclaimed. “In this terrible war against the occupiers, Jews and Azerbaijanis have always fought together – we lived, rejoiced and fought together. We, immigrants from Azerbaijan, are proud of the fact that in this war against the Armenian invaders, one of the first national heroes of an independent Azerbaijan was our brother Albert Agarunov, who became a symbol of courage and brotherhood for the Azerbaijani and Jewish peoples.”

Firidun, who attended the demonstration, claimed that he joined this protest because Armenia is illegally occupying Azerbaijani land: “We want our land back, so the refugees can return home. Due to the occupation of Nagorno-Karabakh, one million Azerbaijani citizens are refugees. This leaves many people without a home. But what is worse than that is that they try to take more land. From the Black Sea to the Caspian Sea, they want it all.” Baruck Idano concurred with Firidun, stressing that Armenia has made a huge mess and that Karabakh is Azerbaijani land.

Mari Rjanorosky, another demonstrator, added; “On February 25-6, 1992, the Armenian Armed Forces committed an act of genocide against the population of the Azerbaijani town of Khojaly. A startling 613 people were killed, 487 people were crippled, and 1,275 old men, women and children were captured and subjected to torture and humiliation. The civilians who managed to escape were brutally murdered in the forest by the Armenian military. The Khojaly civilian population was massacred because they were Azerbaijanis. This barbaric cruelty towards innocent children, women and old people has no explanation. This is not the tragedy of one generation, but also one of the worst crimes in the history of mankind, for they murdered them in one night in cold blood. Yet sadly, as recent events demonstrate, the issue still exists. 20% of Azerbaijan is under occupation. We want for the international community to do something and to seek justice for Azerbaijan.”

Throughout the demonstration, the protesters chanted, “Stop the Armenian aggression against Karabakh,” “stop the Armenian occupation,” “Karabakh is a historical part of Azerbaijan,” “Karabakh, Karabakh is Azerbaijan,” “It is our Karabakh,” and “Israel respects Azerbaijan.” They also held up signs that proclaimed, “Nazi anti-Semitic General Garagin Nzhdeh is an embarrassment that desecrates the memory of Holocaust victims,” “Stop Armenian aggression: remember the children of Khojaly,” “Stop Armenian terrorism against Azerbaijan,” “The State of Israel respects entirely the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan,” “I am from Azerbaijan and 20% of my country is occupied by Armenia,” and “Justice for Khojaly.” Israeli and Azerbaijani flags were waved by everyone in the crowd, while a few participants also waved Turkish flags.

In a war of music, the Azerbaijani Jewish community blasted nationalist music in Azeri Turkish, so that they will make more noise than a small group of Armenian counterdemonstrators. The counterdemonstrators barricaded themselves on the balcony inside the Armenian Cultural Center, while waving Armenian flags and blaring Armenian music. However, their music and messages were so drowned out by the Azerbaijani Jewish community’s loud music in Azeri Turkish accompanied by vibrant chants and them screaming “boo” that in the end, they left the balcony and went inside the cultural center out of frustration. As they left, someone in the crowd threatened even larger demonstrations in the future, if the Armenians there do not pass on their message of discontent to Yerevan.

In an exclusive interview, Gut noted that it is critical to emphasize that these acts of violence that occurred recently along the Azerbaijani-Armenian border took place about 300 kilometers away from the Nagorno-Karabakh region and “adjacent to 7 regions of Azerbaijan which are occupied by Armenia. While the previous Armenian regimes tried to refrain from provocations at the countries’ mutual border, Armenia’s current regime went in a completely different direction.”

“Why did official Yerevan decide to launch a military adventure on the state border, rather than in occupied Nagorno Karabakh region,” Gut pondered. “There are several factors that can explain the transfer of the theater of operations from the contact lines in Karabakh to the state border. First one, a year ago, the government of Azerbaijan decided to transfer the supervision of the state border with Armenia from the Defense Ministry to the State Border Services. This decision caused hysterical panic in Armenia, where they would like the border to remain in the status of a war zone, which would enable the Armenian armed forces to quietly advance positions into Azerbaijani territories.”

“Second one, from the first days of coming into power, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan began making excessive demands from its strategic ally, Russia, and the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO),” he noted. “With its military recklessness, Armenia pursues the objective of drawing the military-political organizations, to which it is a party, into the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict, in order to evade the responsibility of the occupation and aggression against Azerbaijan. Armenia’s aggression against Azerbaijan for nearly 30 years and occasional provocations perpetrated along the border also contravene the legal documents of the military-political organizations with which Armenia is a member. However, Armenia clearly stated that military operations in Karabakh are Azerbaijan’s internal affairs and do not fall under the allies’ obligations. Neither Russia nor the CSTO supported Armenia’s action and did not condemn Azerbaijan. They called on the parties to restrain themselves and for a cessation of hostilities. Armenia’s provocation, perpetrated along the border with Azerbaijan, is yet more evidence that official Yerevan is disinterested in a negotiated settlement of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict.”

“By acting so, Armenia’s leadership aims to escalate the situation, against the backdrop of the socio-economic problems deteriorated further by the widespread nature of COVID-19 in Armenia,” Gut declared. “Aside from the COVID-19 pandemic, Armenia has many domestic economic problems such as power failures, a deep economic crisis, a 30 percent unemployment rate and a 50 percent poverty rate. In other words, by provoking military hostilities on the border with Azerbaijan, the current Armenian Prime Minister tried to preserve his power, diverting the attention of his people away from internal problems, some of which were much intensified by the coronavirus pandemic.”

For these reasons, Gut declared the Azerbaijani Jewish community decided to protest in Tel Aviv en masse, despite the dangers posed by the coronavirus pandemic: “We are Jews from Azerbaijan, and we protest against the Armenian provocations and in support of Azerbaijan. That is different from the US and other parts of the globe, where Armenian protesters confronted mainly Azerbaijani Muslim demonstrators. If there were no police, they would have attacked us, like they did in Los Angeles and other places. I invited the police so that they could not do a provocation. I wanted a peaceful demonstration. A war of music, culture and our demands against Armenia, not a war of soldiers.”

By all accounts, it appears that Azerbaijan won the war of music, as many cars that passed by honked their horns in solidarity with Azerbaijan. The demonstration ended with the crowd playing both the Israeli and Azerbaijani national anthems.

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Azerbaijani Ambassador In Balkans Detained On Embezzlement Charges

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Azerbaijani Ambassador In Balkans Detained On Embezzlement Charges

Azerbaijan's ambassador to Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Montenegro, Eldar Hasanov, has been detained on embezzlement charges.

Azerbaijan's State Security Service said in a statement on August 13 that Hasanov is suspected of embezzling from the Foreign Ministry's consulate directorate.

"The complex financial investigations revealed that the country's ambassador to Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Montenegro, Eldar Hasanov, had committed significant financial and other mishandling," the statement said.

The statement added that further information would be provided at a later time.

Read Original Article here by RFERL

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