Defense Minister Seyran Ohanian visited Armenian frontline positions east of Nagorno-Karabakh on Tuesday following what military authorities in Stepanakert called “unprecedented” truce violations.
According to Armenia’s Defense Ministry, Ohanian and the commander of the Karabakh Armenian army, General Movses Hakobian, assessed the combat readiness and morale of soldiers and inspected new Armenian defense fortifications built along “the line of contact” with Azerbaijan. No further details were reported.
The visit came just over a month after Azerbaijani forces deployed in the Aghdam district east of Karabakh shot down an Armenian combat helicopter in a fresh escalation of tensions in the conflict zone. The incident occurred during large-scale Armenian military exercises held in the area and condemned by Baku. The Armenian and Karabakh militaries pledged to retaliate strongly for the downing of the Mi-24 helicopter.
Both warring sides suffered more combat casualties in the following weeks. Karabakh’s Defense Army accused the Azerbaijani side at the weekend of “unprecedented violations” of the ceasefire regime. It said Azerbaijani troops fired more than 30 light mortar rounds on its frontline positions in the course of last week.
The Defense Ministry in Baku, for its part, reported on Tuesday 44 Armenian truce violations which it said were registered over the past 24 hours.