In a statement citing the peacekeepers, the Russian Defense Ministry said Azerbaijani forces carried out on Wednesday morning two “strikes” on a Karabakh Armenian outpost about 40 kilometers southwest of Stepanakert.
“There are no casualties,” said the statement. “The Russian peacekeeping contingent command took measures to prevent a further escalation of the situation. An investigation is underway.”
The Karabakh Defense Army released on Wednesday photographs purportedly showing fragments of Azerbaijani unmanned aerial vehicles that carried out the attack.
The drone strikes were reported amid rising tensions along the Armenian-Azerbaijani “line of contact” in Karabakh. The Defense Army said on Thursday that Azerbaijani forces “tried to cross” the frontline in the disputed territory’s west overnight but were repelled by its troops.
For its part, the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry on Friday accused Karabakh’s “illegal Armenian militias” of opening fire at its frontline positions early in the morning.
The Karabakh Armenian army was quick to deny that, saying that Baku is “preparing ground for further provocative actions.”
On Wednesday, the Defense Ministry in Baku accused Armenia of deploying more troops in Karabakh and pledged to take “all necessary measures” in response to what it called a violation of the Russian-brokered truce agreement that stopped the Armenian-Azerbaijan war in November. It claimed that the agreement calls for a complete Armenian troop withdrawal from Karabakh.
The Armenian Foreign Ministry dismissed the claim as an “outright falsification.” “The November 9 statement envisages the withdrawal of Armenian troops only from the territories adjacent to Nagorno-Karabakh,” it said.
The ceasefire regime in and around Karabakh as well as the so-called Lachin corridor linking the territory to Armenia is monitored by about 2,000 Russian troops.