An Armenian soldier. Photo by the press service of the Ministry of Defence (MoD) of Armenia

31 July 2021, 10:52

Armenian analysts suggest reasons for local hostilities near Gegarkunik and Eraskh

Intensive shootouts in the direction of Gegarkunik on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border are caused by weak fortification of this area; while those in the direction of Eraskh are caused by Azerbaijan's desire to take control over the strategic road to Iran, Armenian analysts have suggested.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that on July 28, hostilities began on the border of the Gegarkunik Region of Armenia with Azerbaijan. It was reported that there were wounded servicemen on both sides; and three Armenian soldiers perished. The parties agreed, mediated by Russia, to a ceasefire, but the following day they blamed each other of violating the ceasefire.

"The goal of the escalation in the direction of Eraskh is a strategic road to Iran, which Azerbaijan seeks to control," Vitaly Mangasaryan, an analyst, has stated, adding that by means of local clashes, Azerbaijan is trying to weaken Armenia's position and extract the maximum benefit for itself. The expert also noted that Azerbaijan began using reconnaissance drones on Armenian border.

Azerbaijan has used a chance to advance on the Black Lake and entrenched itself in the territories that it considers controversial, Mger Akopyan, a military analyst, believes.

"Eraskh has a symbolic meaning for Azerbaijan. This is where the first battles for the liberation of Nagorno-Karabakh began. Besides, it is the closest point to Yerevan," Mr Akopyan has noted, adding that Armenian authorities are trying to avoid clashes on Azerbaijani border for fear of scaling the conflict.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on July 31, 2021 at 07:58 am MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

Author: Tigran Petrosyan; Source: CK correspondent

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