Azerbaijan says 22 armored vehicles confiscated from Armenian forces in Karabakh
Azerbaijani law enforcement agencies continue the process of disarming Armenian forces in Karabakh after the completion of the anti-terrorist operation there.
The press service of Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry has said that 22 armored vehicles and 47 artillery pieces have been seized.
Details of the seized weapons
According to a list published on the Defense Ministry’s website, by Tuesday morning 909 small arms and grenade launchers, 165 air defense equipment, 251,308 pieces of ammunition, 75 vehicles, 21 trailers and 154 optical and other devices were confiscated, too.
The list also included photos and videos of some of the captured weapons, showing their poor condition and low quality. Some of the weapons were reportedly made in Armenia, while others were supplied by Russia and Iran.
The background of the conflict
On September 19, tensions flared up again in Nagorno-Karabakh. Baku announced it was launching what it described as “local anti-terrorist measures” and demanded the withdrawal of Armenian troops from the region. Yerevan, in turn, said there were no Armenian forces in Karabakh, calling what was happening “an act of large-scale aggression.”
Nagorno-Karabakh is a disputed territory that is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan, but is mostly populated by ethnic Armenians who declared independence in 1991. A war broke out between the two sides in the early 1990s, which ended with a ceasefire in 1994. However, sporadic clashes have continued along the line of contact ever since.
The role of Russia in the peace process
Russia called on the conflicting sides to prevent civilian casualties and return to a diplomatic solution. On September 20, the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry announced that an agreement had been reached in coordination with the Russian peacekeeping contingent to suspend the anti-terrorist operation in Nagorno-Karabakh.
Russia has been mediating the peace talks between Armenia and Azerbaijan for decades, as a co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group. Russia also maintains close ties with both countries, as they are members of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). However, Russia’s role and interests in the region are often seen as ambiguous and contradictory by both sides.
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