At least 16 have been killed on both sides in ongoing clashes that broke out along the border of Armenia and Azerbaijan July 12. An Azerbaijani general is among the dead in the heaviest fighting between the two nations in years. The skirmishes are mostly being fought with heavy artillery and drones. Villages in Azerbaijan’s northern Tovuz rayon (district) have come under artillery fire by Armenian forces, causing property damage. (AP, Axar.az)
Officials in both countries blamed each other for starting the fighting. An analysis by the DC-based Jamestown Foundation appears to accept Azerbaijan’s version of events, and sees a design to widen the conflict in the fact that this time the fighting is in Tovuz and not the contested enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh. Armenia is a member state of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) along with Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. Under Article 4 of the CSTO Charter, an attack on a member state is considered an attack against all members. But any hostilities in Armenian-held Nagorno-Karabakh would fall outside the CSTO purview, since the international community recognizes the enclave as officially under Azerbaijan’s sovereignty. (Caspian News)
The CSTO has in recent years considered military intervention in Kyrgyzstan, and Russia has deployed troops to the Central Asian country under auspices of the treaty.
Azerbaijan threatens missile strike on Armenian nuke plant
The Armenian side should keep in mind that our armed forces have advanced missile systems in service, capable of conducting high-precision strikes on the Metsamor Nuclear Power Plant, which may result in a huge disaster for Armenia,” an Azerbaijani Defense Ministry representative said July 16. (TASS)
New fighting over Nagorno-Karabakh
At least 23 people are reported killed as Armenia and Azerbaijan battle over Nagorno-Karabakh. Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said he is confident of regaining control over the enclave. Armenia has announced a full mobilization of its armed forces. (BBC News)