Azerbaijani armed forces advance in Nagorno-Karabakh

On the evening of Saturday (25 March), the Azerbaijani Ministry of Defense announced that the Azerbaijani army had made advances in Nagorno-Karabakh and had taken control of a road bypassing a section of the Lachin Corridor that Baku had alleged was being used for the transfer of arms, ammunition and personnel by Armenia to Karabakh.

In the statement issued by the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry, they said that "illegal Armenian armed detachments carry out work on laying new roads along several routes passing through some mountainous and unpaved areas, as well as expanding old trails."

To that end, the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry said that "necessary local control measures were taken by the Azerbaijan Army Units to suppress the use of dirt roads north of the Lachin road for illegal activities".

In the days prior, the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry had released videos of what they claimed was evidence of Armenian convoys travelling along the dirt roads with Russian peacekeeping forces. The Armenian side, however, claims that the cargo did not have a military purpose.

Responding to the announcement from the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry, de facto authorities in the self-proclaimed Nagorno-Karabakh Republic accused Azerbaijan of manufacturing a pretext for "aggressive and destructive actions". They asserted that "the given mountain road is used for civilian, urgent connection between Stepanakert and four communities in Shushi region".

Later on Saturday evening, the Russian Ministry of Defence issued a statement calling for Azerbaijan to "comply with the provisions of the trilateral agreements of the heads of state, take measures to stop engineering work and withdraw units of the national armed forces to previously occupied positions".

This prompted Baku to accuse Russia of not preventing the transfer of Armenian military and arms to Nagorno-Karabakh, which the Armenian side denies.

source: with agencies
photo: CaucasusWatch