Heated clashes along the Karabakh-Azerbaijan contact line

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry called on Wednesday for “an ultimate resolution” of the two-decade-old Nagorno-Karabakh conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia during talks with Azeri President Ilham Aliyev at the State Department.
Aliyev was in Washington for a two-day nuclear security summit hosted by President Barack Obama on Thursday and Friday.
“We want to see an ultimate resolution of the frozen conflict of Nagorno-Karabakh that needs to be a negotiated settlement and something that has to be worked on over time,” Kerry said during a brief photo opportunity with Aliyev.
Aliyev thanked the United States for trying to end the conflict but said it could only be resolved through a United Nations Security Council resolution calling for the “immediate and unconditional withdrawal of Armenian troops” from Azerbaijan.
“The conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan, all the conflicts in post-Soviet area and in the world, must be resolved based on territorial integrity of the countries,” he said.
It seems state leadership of Azerbaijan understood Kerry’s words in specific manner, or official report doesn’t give the full picture of talks. The next day heated clashes has started along the Karabakh-Azerbaijan contact line.
As “PanArmenian” agency reports, Azerbaijan was the first to break ceasefire in the conflict zone:
“On the night of April 1-2, Azerbaijani armed forces initiated overt offensive operations in the southern, southeastern and northeastern directions of the line of contact with Nagorno Karabakh, using artillery, armored fighting vehicles and air force equipment among other weapons.
Aside from the battles on the frontline, the rival has also carried out artillery strikes on civilian settlements and places of permanent deployment of several military units.
According to the spokesperson for the Armenian Defense Ministry Artsrun Hovhannisyan, active military operations continue, the Armenian army having taken retaliatory measures and making counterattacks in some areas. Casualties were registered on both sides, Hovhannisyan said, but the rival has suffered major equipment and manpower losses.
“In combat actions, the initiative is in our hands,” Hovhannisyan said in a statement.
According to the Karabakh Defense Army, the Armenian air defense units have destroyed an Azerbaijani helicopter that was storming towards the Armenian positions.
At the moment, heated clashes continue along the Karabakh-Azerbaijan contact line.
Accepting the rival’s challenge, the Karabakh frontline units confidently conduct defensive battles”.
The renewal of frozen conflict can be interesting for the US government in its standing against Russia. Russia is interested to have good relations with both conflicted countries, but it has close military ties with Armenia. A big war in South Caucasus region can face it with serious difficulties and limit its activity on Syrian and Ukrainian directions.


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