Border Escalations in Syunik and Gegharkunik Provinces and the Coming Armenian-Turkish War

By Grigor Hakoyban


            Several days ago, Azerbaijani troops invaded Armenian territory in several directions. One direction that they intruded was towards Vardenis, another one towards Djermuk, third one towards Sisian, and the fourth one towards Goris by capturing most of the Sev Lich (Black Lake) and several hilltops around the lake that overlook strategic highway going through Armenia, which connects Yerevan to Goris and Goris to Khapan. The Azerbaijani contingent that captured Sev Lich was able to intrude into Armenia’s territory three and a half kilometers deep. The contingent was made up of several hundred Azerbaijani special forces without encountering any resistance. According to Armenia’s Ministry of Defense, the roads leading to the positions occupied by Azerbaijani troops on Ishxanasar Mountain are under Armenian control, making it harder for Azerbaijan to supply its forces on the mountain top. In the meantime, according to some political observers in Armenia, two Armenian military positions also positioned near the mountain top are presently surrounded by Azerbaijani troops.

            Surprisingly, the Armenian armed forces didn’t fire any shots to stop the advancement of enemy troops or make any attempt to arrest them. According to undisclosed sources within Armenia’s military, the soldiers were orders not to shoot. It is somewhat surprising that so many enemy troops were able to intrude 3.5km deep into Armenia’s territory without meeting any resistance on the part of Armenian armed forces. Furthermore, the Russian border troops stationed in Syunik Province didn’t do anything to counter the intrusion despite the fact that the Azerbaijani forces have violated not only the border of Armenia but also the border that falls under the security responsibility of the CSTO, which Armenia is a member. That leads some political observers to assert that there is a secret agreement between Armenia, Russia, and Azerbaijan, that people do not know about, which allowed Azerbaijani troops to capture the mountain top without any fighting.

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