15 Jul 4 Armenian Soldiers Killed as Azerbaijan Fires at Civilian Targets
- Azerbaijan reports 7 deaths, including army general
- Armenia responds to attacks with fierce fire power (video)
- Tavush Province still at center of Azerbaijani attacks
- Armenia-made drones deployed by Armed Forces
- Azerbaijan attacks face mask production facility
Armenia’s Defense Ministry reported that four Armenian Army soldiers were killed Tuesday as Azerbaijan continued its unsuccessful efforts to breach the Armenia-Azerbaijan border, with its attacks centered on civilian targets in Armenia’s Tavush Province. The Azerbaijani defense ministry reported seven deaths on Tuesday, among them an army general.
Defense ministry spokesperson Shushan Stepanyan on Tuesday reported that Armenian Armed Forces Major Garush Hambardzumyan and Captain Sos Elbakyan were killed during combat operations defending Armenia’s border from Azerbaijani attacks. Later in the day, the defense ministry announced the deaths of Private of the Armed Forces Smbat Gabrielyan and Grisha Matevosyan.
In the third day of attacks by Azerbaijan on Armenian border military and civilian structures, the Azerbaijani defense ministry reported seven deaths on Tuesday, among them a general of its armed forces. Official Baku had confirmed the deaths of four soldiers on Monday as Azerbaijani forces launched an attack on an Armenian military outpost in Tavush beginning Sunday afternoon.
Stepanyan also announced that Azerbaijani forces fired at civilian targets in the town of Berd in the Tavush Province using drones. She said there were no casualties from that attack. In a separate attack overnight, Armenian Armed Forces repelled another effort by Azerbaijan to breach the Armenian border.
She also posted satellite photos showing the Azerbaijani village of Dondar Ghushchu of Tovruz region (located nearly about six miles from the frontline) enclosed by artillery batteries.
“The Azerbaijan side has surrounded its own population with artillery batteries, turning them into a target, and then it complains that shots were fired by the Armenian Armed Forces at that direction,” explained Stepanyan.
In her updates on Facebook, Stepanayan also released video footage of Armenia’s response to Azerbaijani attacks on Monday, showing Armenian forces destroying Azerbaijani military strongholds, from where the Armenian border villages were shelled. The three videos also chronicle the night combat operations and capture the moment when Armenian forces downed an Azerbaijani drone.
The Armenian Armed Forces also deployed, for the first time, drones—UAVs—that were manufactured in Armenia.
“July 13 will remain in history as the day, when the combat UAVs of Armenian productionwere put into action. For the first time, Armenian combat UAVs were used, in combat conditions, and showed brilliant results,” former defense ministry spokesperson Artsrun Hovhannisyan said in a Facebook post. It is believed that the high-ranking Azerbaijani army personnel were killed in an attack using the droned.
“In fact, this is the first time that a devise of this scale has been shot down,” said the Russian-Israeli blogger Alexander Lapshin, who spend weeks in an Azerbaijani prison for his travel blogs on Artsakh.
“Until now, no one has been able to ‘get it,’ despite the fact that such UAVs are constantly used during military actions in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Sudan, Afghanistan. These machines also control the border of the USA and Mexico, monitoring the actions of drug cartels; they have long been used in Colombia and Brazil to fight rebels and drug traffickers,” Lapshin added in his Facebook post.
Lapshin quoted a friend, who has long worked as engineer-instructor at Elbit Systems, which designs and manufactures this and other drones, as saying: “Only complete slobs and laymen could have put this “flying brain” of any army under attack.”
“Logical! It’s not about axe-murdering a sleeping soldier in Budapest or strangling a harmless blogger in Baku,” said Lapshin, who has spent months in Azerbaijani jail for having visited Nagorno Karabakh.
In the latest blatant attacks on Armenian civilian infrastructures, the Azerbaijani military has opened fire on a face covering production factory, which has been supplying essential life-saving elements during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Tavush Textile, a factory which is also making face coverings during the COVID-19 pandemic, is located in the eponymous Tavush province, which has come under Azerbaijani cross-border attacks since Sunday.
The factory director Michael Yezekyan told Armenpress that shelling of the premises started at around 11 a.m. Tuesday. A decision was made to shut down the factory on Monday to protect the safety of its employees. Yezekyan said there were no casualties from the attack.The factory did not suffer any losses, according to its director Michael Yezekyan.
“The employees wanted to go back to work, but our decision was that safety is a top priority and we sent them home,” Yezekyan told Armenpress, adding that factory had reopened on Tuesday.