As tensions rise in the Karabakh region, Azerbaijan on Monday said Armenia targeted its military positions 10 times over the past 24 hours.
In six of the incidents, Armenian forces opened fire “from positions in the direction of the Basarkechar, Garakilsa, and Gorus regions” on Azerbaijani military units “stationed in the direction of the Kalbajar and Lachin regions,” the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry said in a statement.
“The other 4 cases were recorded as a result of periodic fire opened by the use of sniper rifles and various caliber weapons on the Azerbaijan Army positions, stationed in the direction of the Kalbajar, Goranboy, and Fuzuli regions, by members of an illegal Armenian armed detachment in the territory of Azerbaijan, where the Russian peacekeepers are temporarily deployed,” the statement said.
The ministry said there was no loss of personnel or military equipment, adding that the Azerbaijani military took “adequate retaliatory measures” in all cases.
It reiterated that the “Armenian military-political leadership bears all responsibility for the recent tension that occurred on the Azerbaijani-Armenian state border, as well as in the territory of Azerbaijan, where the Russian peacekeepers are temporarily deployed.”
Tensions have flared since an Azerbaijani soldier was killed in Armenian firing last week in the border region of Lachin, pushing Baku to launch a retaliatory operation against Armenian forces in Karabakh.
Relations between the former Soviet republics have been tense since 1991, when the Armenian military occupied Nagorno-Karabakh (Upper Karabakh), a territory internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan, and seven adjacent regions.
During the conflict in fall 2020, Azerbaijan liberated several cities and nearly 300 settlements and villages that had been occupied by Armenia for nearly three decades.
A Russian-brokered deal in November 2020 brought an end to the conflict.