Both Armenia and Azerbaijan have reported attempted territorial gains by the other side, followed by ongoing firefights, in a continuation of the already tense situation which has developed over the weekend.
The Azerbaijani Ministry of Defence reported that Armenian forces carried out “large scale provocations against Azerbaijan on the state border”, using “mortars of various calibres and artillery pieces subjecting to fire the Azerbaijan army units stationed in Lachin region”. According to the ministry, Armenian troops launched a surprise attack in the morning, with the aim of securing the high ground in the direction of the state border and therefore, gain a favourable position. The statement said that Azerbaijani troops took adequate measures and were able to thwart the attempted territorial gain. However, it noted that two servicemen had been injured as a result of the ongoing firefight.
The spokesperson for the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry condemned the actions, adding in a statement that “all responsibility for the current tension lies directly with the military and political leadership of Armenia".
According to a statement by the Armenian Ministry of Defence, it was Azerbaijan who opened fire first, using artillery, armoured vehicles, and firearms of different calibers. Armenian troops then took “retaliatory action” to prevent Azerbaijani troops from advancing. The statement added that localised battles are taking place, and that while the situation is under the control of the Armenian Armed Forces, it remains “extremely tense”. Neither side have reported any casualties.
These latest clashes come after days of escalating tensions, prompted by more border skirmishes over the past few days, as well as a series of other incidents which have included a “terrorist attack” by an Armenian citizen, and the killing of a utility worker by Azerbaijani troops. Azerbaijan also announcing it was erecting checkpoints on the Kapan-Chakaten section of the Goris-Kapan road, with Armenia saying it would set up reciprocal checkpoints.