The Ottoman caliphate redux.
Russian Military Expert Pavel Felgenhauer: Russia Will Defend Armenia From The Turks; If Necessary, Russia Will Save Armenia With A Nuclear Strike
MEMRI, August 3, 2020:
On July 29, Turkey announced the launch of joint large-scale tactical and tactical flight exercises involving Turkish and Armenian ground forces and air forces. The exercises, taking place July 29-August 10, include live firing and involve some 5,000 personnel, 150 units of military armored vehicles, up to 150 units of artillery and air defense systems, and up to 30 jets, helicopters and drones. They are being held in Azerbaijan, in the areas of Baku, Nakhchivan, Ganja, Kurdamir and Yevlakh. Ground exercises are being held in Baku and Nakhchivan August 1-5, with artillery, armored vehicles, and mortars striking simulated targets.
It should be noted that earlier that month, on July 12, tensions rose once again on the Azerbaijani-Armenian border, when Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry accused Armenia of attempting to attack Azerbaijan’s positions at the Tovuz section of the border with artillery systems. “Starting from the afternoon on July 12, units of the Armenian armed forces, grossly violating the ceasefire on the direction of the Tovuz region of the Azerbaijani-Armenian state border, were subjected to fire on our positions using artillery mounts. There are losses on both sides. Currently, there are fights in this direction. Our units control the operational situation,” the Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry reported.
However, Armenian Defense Ministry spokesperson Shushan Stepanyan reported on Facebook that on July 12 Azerbaijan had attempted to violate the Armenian state border near the Tavush region, but that all these attempts had been thwarted. “At about 12:30 today, servicemen of the Armed Forces of Azerbaijan, for reasons unknown to us, attempted to violate the state border of the Republic of Armenia in an UAZ vehicle in the direction of Tavush,” Stepayan said, adding that after a warning from the Armenian side, the Azerbaijani servicemen returned to their positions. Nevertheless, the Azerbaijani servicemen made a second attempt on the Armenian border, using artillery fire, but retreated, incurring loss in manpower.
The Azerbaijan-Armenia clashes continued for three days. Azerbaijan reported that 12 personnel, including a general, had been killed, and Armenia reported four servicemen killed. Commenting on the escalation at the border, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said: “As you are aware, on July 12, Azerbaijan attacked our border positions in the Tavush region. The Armed Forces of Armenia did not only repel the attacks but also inflicted significant damage on the adversary. The Azerbaijani side suffered numerous casualties, including military equipment and weapons with highly advanced technology. This is an explicit victory of military strength, tactics, and the military-industrial complex of Armenia.
“The damage to the morale of the adversary was even stronger. The domestic political situation in Azerbaijan is not stable due also to these military activities. This is leading the Azerbaijani leadership to resort to new provocations in order to redirect the social dissatisfaction towards Armenia and Artsakh [aka the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic].
“Amidst all these developments, I would like to outline several important points. First, Azerbaijan initiated an attack against the sovereign territory of Armenia. I must stress once again that the military positions that were under Azerbaijani attack during the last two weeks are within the sovereign territory of Armenia. Thereby, the accusations by Azerbaijan presenting the Armenian side as an aggressor are merely nonsense.
“Azerbaijan launched an attack when Armenia was engaged in the Nagorno-Karabakh peace process, even though Azerbaijan was refusing to negotiate with Artsakh, the main party to the conflict. All the attacks by Azerbaijan have been decisively repelled, and the Armenian side further strengthened its positions along the border. The Azerbaijani myth that its army can defeat the Armenian Army, and thus Armenia and Artsakh should make concessions has vanished.
“For a long time we have been urging Azerbaijan not to talk with us from the positions of force, warmongering and threat of use of force. And now we can confidently say that Armenia has both rejected the threat of use of force on the diplomatic table and showed in the battlefield that those claims are unfounded and do not reflect the real balance of power. When saying the real balance of power, I do not only speak about the number of troops or armaments, but rather the overall quality of their military actions and the level of command.
“Now we can confidently state that the Armenian Armed Forces and the Armenian Army not only demonstrated high combat efficiency, but also reiterated their reputation of the most efficient and intelligent army in the region. And this is not merely a statement, but a conclusion based on a detailed analysis of the events that have been taking place since July 12. Our army has been and remains the source of national pride and once again reiterated its status in the Tavush region…”
Since July 17, both Armenia and Azerbaijan have noted that the border situation has been relatively calm. However, tensions remain high as the Turkey-Azerbaijan military exercises begin.
Russian military expert Pavel Felgenhauer said in an interview published July 29 that the Turkish army’s entry into Azerbaijan “under the pretext” of joint Turkish-Azerbaijani military exercises is a serious escalation of the situation in the region. He argues that there are already concerns that an escalation would lead to a large-scale confrontation between the pro-Armenia Russia and the pro-Azerbaijan Turkey, and says that if there is a military clash, Turkey will demolish both the Armenian and Russian forces located in Armenia. This, however would mean a declaration of war on Russia, which under such circumstances may resort to the force of nuclear deterrence.
Below is the interview, as published by Rosbalt.ru:
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