WASHINGTON – Ambassador Varuzhan Nersesyan, the representative of the Republic of Armenia to the United States, in a recent interview discussed the incidents of Azerbaijani aggression which began on July 12 at the border of the northeastern Armenian province of Tavush.
The attacks began on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border on Sunday, July 12, at 12:30 p.m., the ambassador said, when an Azerbaijani military vehicle suddenly approached military positions on the territory of Armenia. After receiving warnings, the soldiers in this vehicle left to return to Azerbaijan, after which bombing and shelling with artillery of Armenian positions began. At least 16 were left dead during the first three days of fighting, including 4 Armenian military men and 12 Azerbaijanis (as officially confirmed by the Ministry of Defense of Azerbaijan; unofficial Azerbaijani sources indicate a higher number of losses).
After several days, a ceasefire was arranged for Wednesday, July 15, through the mediation of the Russian, American and French co-chairs of the Minsk Group of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), which allowed the Azerbaijani side to remove the bodies of dead soldiers for burial, but this arrangement was breached only hours later, in the predawn hours of Thursday, July 16, by the Azerbaijani side, the ambassador said, and artillery fire resumed.
Armenian forces were able to destroy two tanks firing mortars toward Tavush, shoot down 13 drones, and kill many members of the Azerbaijani special forces unit attempting to advance to Armenian territory, while an Azerbaijani drone struck an Armenian truck on a humanitarian mission. No Armenians were killed.
By July 20, there was relative calm and the ambassador expressed his hope that this would turn into a more solid ceasefire.