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Armenian–Azerbaijani border conflict
Part of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict
Date4 March 2008 – present (13 years, 6 months, 3 weeks and 4 days)
LocationArmenia–Azerbaijan state border, Nagorno-Karabakh–Azerbaijan line of contact
Result Ongoing
Belligerents
 Nagorno-Karabakh
 Armenia

 Azerbaijan
Supported by:

 Turkey
Casualties and losses
92 soldiers and 6 civilians killed (2010–2015) 103+ soldiers and 3 civilians killed (2010–2015)
253+ killed (2008–2015)

The Armenian–Azerbaijani border conflict is a sporadic border war on the Armenian–Azerbaijan border and at the line of contact between the Nagorno-Karabakh and Azerbaijan.

Background[]

As the Soviet Union was dissolving, ethnic Armenians in Azerbaijan fought a brief conflict, backed by Armenia proper, that resulted in the de facto independence of Nagorno-Karabakh (NKR) alongside a 1994 ceasefire agreement and what academics have called a frozen conflict. At the same time, Azerbaijan controls the exclave of the Nakhichivan Autonomous Republic bordering Armenia that is not contiguous with its main territory.

Some clashes occurred in the years following the 1994 ceasefire.[1] Although no exact casualty figures exist, by 2009, as many as 3,000 people, mostly soldiers, had been killed, according to most observers.[2] In 2008, the fighting became more intense and frequent.[3] With 72 deaths recorded throughout the year, 2014 became the bloodiest since the war ended.[1]

Conflict[]

2008 Mardakert skirmishes[]

The 2008 Mardakert skirmishes began on 4 March after the 2008 Armenian election protests. It involved the heaviest fighting between ethnic Armenian[4] and Azerbaijani forces[5] over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh[5][6] since the 1994 ceasefire after the Nagorno-Karabakh War.

Armenian sources accused Azerbaijan of trying to take advantage of ongoing unrest in Armenia. Azerbaijani sources blamed Armenia, claiming that the Armenian government was trying to divert attention from internal tensions in Armenia.

Following the incident, on March 14 the United Nations General Assembly by a recorded vote of 39 in favour to 7 against adopted Resolution 62/243, demanding the immediate withdrawal of all Armenian forces from the "occupied territories" of Azerbaijan.[7]

2010 violence[]

The February 2010 Nagorno-Karabakh skirmish was a scattered exchange of gunfire that took place on February 18 on the line of contact dividing Azerbaijani and the Karabakh Armenian military forces. Azerbaijan accused the Armenian forces of firing on the Azerbaijani positions near Tap Qaraqoyunlu, Qızıloba, Qapanlı, Yusifcanlı and Cavahirli villages, as well as in uplands of Agdam Rayon with small arms fire including snipers.[8][9] As a result, three Azerbaijani soldiers were killed and one wounded.[10]

The 2010 Mardakert skirmishes were a series of violations of the Nagorno-Karabakh War ceasefire. They took place across the line of contact dividing Azerbaijan and the ethnic Armenian military forces of the unrecognized but de facto independent Nagorno-Karabakh Republic. Both sides accused the other of violating the ceasefire regime. These were the worst violations of the cease fire (which has been in place since 1994) in two years and left Armenian forces with the heaviest casualties since the Mardakert skirmishes of March 2008.[11]

Between 2008 and 2010, 74 soldiers were killed on both sides.[2]

2011–2015 continued fighting[]

On 10 March 2011, a 10-year-old Azerbaijani boy was killed by Armenian sniper fire.[12]

In late April 2011, border clashes left three Nagorno-Karabakh soldiers dead,[13] while on 5 October, two Azeri and one Armenian soldier were killed.[14] In all during the year, 10 Armenian soldiers were killed.[15]

The following year, border clashes between the armed forces of Armenia and Azerbaijan took place from late April through early June. The clashes resulted in the deaths of five Azeri and four Armenian soldiers. In all during 2012, 19 Azeri and 14 Armenian soldiers were killed.[16] Another report put the number of Azeri dead at 20.[1]

Throughout 2013, 12 Azeri and 7 Armenian soldiers were killed in border clashes.[16]

In 2014, several border clashes erupted that had resulted in 16 fatalities on both sides by 20 June.[17]

On 2 August, Azeri authorities announced that eight of their soldiers had been killed in three days of clashes with NKO forces, the biggest single death toll for the country's military since the 1994 war.[18] NKO denied any casualties on their side, while saying the Azeris had suffered 14 dead and many more injured.[18] Local officials in Nagorno-Karabakh reported at least two Armenian military deaths in what was the largest incident in the area since 2008.[19] Five more Azeri troops were killed the following night, bringing the death toll from the August clashes to at least 15. The violence prompted Russia to issue a strong statement, warning both sides not to escalate the situation further.[20]

By August 5, 2014 the fighting that started on 27 July had left 14 Azeri and 5 Armenian soldiers dead. Overall, 27 Azeri soldiers had died since the start of the year in border clashes.[21]

In a separate incident in July 2014, the NKR Defense Army announced that troops had killed one and arrested two members of an Azerbaijani subversive group that had penetrated the contact line.[22] In addition to spying on Armenian troop movements and military installations and civilian settlements in Karvachar (Kelbajar), the team was charged with the murder of Smbat Tsakanyan, a seventeen-year-old Armenian boy and resident of the village of Jumen. Both surviving members of the group were sentenced to life in prison by an Armenian court. In July 2015, video footage recorded by the team was released to the public and aired on Armenian state television.[23]

On November 12, 2014, the Azerbajani armed forces shot down a Nagorno-Karabakh Defense Army Mil Mi-24 helicopter over Karabakh's Agdam district. Three servicemen were killed in the incident. Armenia’s Defense Ministry stated the aircraft was unarmed and called its downing an “unprecedented provocation.” Azeri authorities claimed the helicopter was “trying to attack” Azeri army positions.[24] Armenian authorities stated that Azerbaijan will face "grave consequences".[25] With the crash, 2014 became the deadliest year for Armenian forces since the 1994 ceasefire agreement, with 27 soldiers killed in addition to 34 fatalities on the Azeri side.[26] Six Armenian civilians also died in 2014, while by the end of the year the number of Azeri soldiers killed rose to 39.[1]

In fighting between 23 and 25 January 2015, three Azerbaijani and two Armenian soldiers were killed.[27] By end of April, the number of killed since the start of the year rose to 28 Armenian[28][29] as well as one soldier crossed the border due to "harsh conditions"[30] and second one was caught near the border while Azerbaijani side lost 8 Azeri soldiers.[31]

On July 4, 2015, the Azerbaijan's Defense Ministry claimed that its military shot down two drones over the contact line;[32] these claims were categorically denied by a spokesman for the Ministry of Defense of Armenia, which stated that even the photographs circulated by the Azerbaijan Defense Ministry were of an Azerbaijani drone that the NKR Defense Army had downed in 2011.[33]

Fatalities[]

Year Armenia Azerbaijan Total
2008 N/A N/A 30 soldiers[2]
2009 N/A N/A 19 soldiers[2]
2010 7 soldiers[34] 18 soldiers 25 soldiers[2]
2011 10 soldiers[15] 4+ soldiers,[2][14] 1 civilian[12] 14+ soldiers, 1 civilian
2012 14 soldiers 20 soldiers 34 soldiers[1]
2013 7 soldiers 12 soldiers 19 soldiers[16]
2014 27 soldiers, 6 civilians 37 soldiers, 2 civilians 64 soldiers, 8 civilians[1]
2015 27 soldiers 12 soldiers 39 soldiers[28]

See also[]

  • Nagorno-Karabakh Republic

References[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Hairenik. "Loose Restraints: A Look at the Increasingly Shaky Karabagh Ceasefire". Armenian Weekly. http://armenianweekly.com/2015/02/04/karabagh/. Retrieved 4 July 2015. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Armenia and Azerbaijan: Preventing War
  3. Armenialiberty. "Armenialiberty: Two Azeri Soldiers Killed In ‘Armenian Truce Violation’ - ecoi.net - European Country of Origin Information Network". http://www.ecoi.net/local_link/238240/361172_de.html. Retrieved 4 July 2015. 
  4. "Karabakh casualty toll disputed". BBC News. 2008-03-05. Archived from the original on 9 March 2008. http://web.archive.org/web/20080309004207/http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7278871.stm. Retrieved 2008-03-05. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Fatal Armenian-Azeri border clash". BBC News. 2008-03-05. Archived from the original on 5 March 2008. http://web.archive.org/web/20080305231537/http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7278483.stm. Retrieved 2008-03-05. 
  6. "Armenia/Azerbaijan: Deadly Fighting Erupts In Nagorno-Karabakh". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. 2008-03-04. Archived from the original on 6 March 2008. http://web.archive.org/web/20080306000426/http://www.rferl.org/featuresarticle/2008/03/06F6071C-C439-4C76-B389-928E9409DE9B.html. Retrieved 2008-03-05. 
  7. General Assembly adopts resolution reaffirming territorial integrity of Azerbaijan... UN.org
  8. "Azerbaijan announces names of soldiers killed and wounded by Armenian fire". News.az. http://www.news.az/articles/9542. Retrieved 2010-11-27. 
  9. "Azerbaijan: Baku Claims Three Dead in Karabakh Crossfire". Eurasianet. http://new.eurasianet.org/departments/news/articles/eav021910.shtml. Retrieved 2010-11-27. 
  10. "Three Azerbaijani Soldiers Killed Near Nagorno-Karabakh". RFE/RL. Archived from the original on 27 November 2010. http://web.archive.org/web/20101127072308/http://www.rferl.org/content/Three_Azerbaijani_Soldiers_Killed_Near_NagornoKarabakh/1962175.html. Retrieved 2010-11-27. 
  11. Fuller, Liz. "OSCE, EU Condemn Karabakh 'Armed Incident'." RFE/RL. June 22, 2010. Retrieved 22 June 2010.
  12. 12.0 12.1 "Azerbaijani child killed near Karabakh, ministry says". Hurriyet Daily News. http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/default.aspx?pageid=438&n=azerbaijani-child-killed-near-karabakh-ministry-says-2011-03-10. Retrieved 4 July 2015. 
  13. "Azerbaijan goes beyond all permissible limits, two Artsakh servicemen killed". Armeniansworld.com. http://www.armeniansworld.com/azerbaijan-goes-beyond-all-permissible-limits-two-artsakh-servicemen-killed/. Retrieved 13 October 2014. 
  14. 14.0 14.1 Vika Elchyan. "Armenia, Azerbaijan Report More Deadly Skirmishes". ArmeniaDiaspora.com. http://www.azatutyun.am/content/article/24350911.html. Retrieved 13 October 2014. 
  15. 15.0 15.1 "Armenian Army Death Toll Down In 2011". RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty. http://www.rferl.org/content/armenia_army_deaths_down_in_2011/24458025.html. Retrieved 4 July 2015. 
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 "Bloody clashes between Azerbaijan and Armenia over disputed territory". the Guardian. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/aug/04/nagorno-karabakh-clashes-azerbaijan-armenia. Retrieved 13 October 2014. 
  17. "Armenia Says Two Soldiers Killed In Fresh Border Skirmishes". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. 2014-06-20. http://www.rferl.org/content/armenia-says-two-soldiers-killed-in-fresh-border-skirmishes/25429458.html. Retrieved 2014-08-02. 
  18. 18.0 18.1 "At least eight Azerbaijani soldiers killed on border with Armenia". Todayszaman.com. http://www.todayszaman.com/world_at-least-eight-azerbaijani-soldiers-killed-on-border-with-armenia_354428.html. Retrieved 2014-08-02. 
  19. Guliyev, Emil. "Azeri troops killed in clashes with Armenia as tensions flare - Yahoo News". News.yahoo.com. http://news.yahoo.com/eight-azeri-troops-killed-clashes-armenia-143329684.html. Retrieved 2014-08-02. 
  20. "Five more killed in clashes between Azeris, ethnic Armenians (Reuters, August 2, 2014)". Uk.reuters.com. http://uk.reuters.com/article/2014/08/02/uk-armenia-azerbaijan-conflict-idUKKBN0G20EP20140802. Retrieved 13 October 2014. 
  21. "PUTIN MEDIATES AZERI-ARMENIAN TALKS". http://www.eurasiareview.com/13082014-putin-mediates-azeri-armenian-talks/. Retrieved 13 August 2014. 
  22. "Traces of Azerbaijani Infiltration in Karvachar." Civilnet.am. July 22, 2014.
  23. See (Armenian) "ՔԱՐՎԱՃԱՌԻ ԴԻՎԵՐՍԱՆՏՆԵՐԸ" [The diversionary group of Karvachar]. H1 Television. July 13, 2015.
  24. "Azerbaijan Risks New Armenia Conflict as Chopper Downed". 12 November 2014. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-11-12/azerbaijan-says-armenian-helicopter-shot-down-in-conflict-zone.html. Retrieved 12 November 2014. 
  25. "Armenia vows 'grave consequences' after helicopter downed". 12 November 2014. http://news.yahoo.com/azerbaijan-shoots-down-armenian-military-helicopter-baku-132139074.html. Retrieved 12 November 2014. 
  26. Armenian helicopter shot down in Karabakh, 3 crew presumed dead (Armenian Reporter, November 12, 2014)
  27. Clashes Intensify Between Armenia and Azerbaijan Over Disputed Land
  28. 28.0 28.1 "Баку ужесточает позицию по Карабаху". http://www.vestikavkaza.ru/analytics/Baku-uzhestochaet-pozitsiyu-po-Karabakhu.html. Retrieved 4 July 2015. 
  29. "Զինվորական մեքենայի վթարից տուժած զինծառայողներից մեկի վիճակը ծայրահեղ ծանր է". http://news.am/arm/news/262768.html. Retrieved 4 July 2015. 
  30. "Մարտական դիրքը թողնելու դեպքի առթիվ հարուցվել է քրեական գործ". http://news.am/arm/news/258336.html. Retrieved 4 July 2015. 
  31. [1]
  32. "Azerbaijani military shoots down two Armenian drones - defense ministry". Trend. 4 July 2015. http://en.trend.az/azerbaijan/karabakh/2414186.html. Retrieved 4 July 2015. 
  33. "Hovhannisyan: Azerbaijani troops possibly ‘down’ toy aircrafts [sic] of their children." Panorama.am. July 8, 2015.
  34. "44 смертных случая в Вооруженных Силах Армении". 1in.am. http://ru.1in.am/987.html. Retrieved 4 July 2015. 

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