south front for sunday

Armenian-Azerbaijani War: Military Situation In Nagorno-Karabakh
South Front, Oct 25 2020

A brief overview of the recent developments in the ongoing Armenian-Azerbaijani war:

  • The US Embassy in Azerbaijan warned US citizens living in Baku about the threat of terrorism and kidnapping;
  • The IRGC ground force mechanized brigade of Imam Zaman (as) was deployed near the border with Karabakh;
  • Clashes between Azerbaijan and Armenian continue in the Syunik-Zangilan road area;
  • Clashes between Azerbaijan and Armenian forces continue in the Qubadly area;
  • Azerbaijani President claimed its forces destroyed 6 S-300 systems in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

Aliyev Is Ready For Ceasefire In Nagorno-Karabakh After Claiming Destruction Of 6 Armenian S-300 ADS
South Front, Oct 25 2020

Azerbaijan is ready to accept a ceasefire in the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh, President Ilham Aliyev said during an interview with Fox News on Oct 24. The Azerbaijani President said his troops are ready to lay down their arms, if the Armenian side accept an agreement that would see Armenian troops withdrawing from Nagorno-Karabakh. Aliyev said:

I have said this many times. Even today, we are ready to agree on a ceasefire. But at the same time, the Prime Minister of Armenia should declare that they adhere to the principles developed jointly by the RUFUS.

Azerbaijani forces launched a large-scale attack on Nagorno-Karabakh on Sep 27. Turkey is not only supporting Baku with military equipment, but also with hundreds of Syrian mercenaries, who have been already spotted on the region’s frontlines. Despite the presence of overwhelming evidence, Aliyev denied that his forces are being backed by Syrian mercenaries brought by Turkey, saying:

We don’t need any mercenaries. It’s all fake news aimed at damaging the image of the country and diminishing the bravery of the soldiers on the battlefield.

During the interview, Aliyev also boasted about the military achievements of its forces, including the destruction of several Armenian S-300 air-defense systems. Aliyev denied that Azerbaijani combat drones are targeting civilians, telling his interviewer:

We have destroyed more than 230 tanks, 6 S-300 air-defense systems and hundreds of armored vehicles so far.

Azerbaijani forces were reportedly behind a number of attacks on civilian sites in Nagorno-Karabakh, including a landmark church. Aliyev remarks indicate that Azerbaijan is not willing to accept any political settlement that does not force Armenia to retreat from Nagorno-Karabakh. The Armenian side will not likely approve these conditions.

Azerbaijan Pushes Into Nagorno-Karabakh, Asks Citizens To Stop Taking Videos Of Armed Forces
South Front, Oct 24 2020

On Oct 24 and continuing into Oct 25, clashes continued along the entire frontline in Nagorno-Karabakh. The Azerbaijan Ministry of Defense said that the combat operations continued with varying intensity in the Aghdere, Khojavend, Fizuli, Hadrut, Gubadli, and Lachin directions of the front. The Armenian side fired on Azerbaijan’s forces using small arms, tanks, mortars, and gun-howitzers. According to Azerbaijan, Armenia’s forces suffered heavy losses and were forced to retreat:

The Troops of the Azerbaijan Army, inflicting serious fire damage on the enemy in the territories of the Khojavend, Gubadli, and Lachin regions, has weakened his resistance and moved to new positions in various directions. As a result of shelling by units of the Azerbaijan Army of units of the Armenian armed forces located in the Aghdere and Khojavend directions, the enemy suffered heavy losses in manpower. It became known that the enemy is facing a shortage of ammunition, and his artillery pieces were disabled. As a result of the actions taken by the Azerbaijan Army, a large number of enemy’s military personnel, 2 tanks, 2 infantry fighting vehicles, 4 D-30 gun-howitzers, 1 2A36 « Giatsint-B» field gun, 7 auto vehicles were destroyed and disabled in various directions of the front. Currently, battles are being continued along the entire length of the front. Our troops control the operational situation.

Azerbaijani propaganda clip of howitzers firing.

Armenian equipment apparently being destroyed.

Azerbaijan also began a media campaign to advertise not using mobile phones and other equipment to film the activities and movements of troops. This to a high degree is related to the accusations of war crimes, footage of which the Azerbaijan armed forces personnel upload online themselves, it also relates to the continued footage of Syrian militants fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh.

A hype video for Azerbaijan’s operation.

Iran has recently begun sending troops to the border with Karabakh,
potentially planning a response to Azerbaijan’s activities along it.

On Armenia’s side, an Azerbaijani convoy was reportedly destroyed,
and there’s a video to substantiate the claims.

Another Azerbaijani drone was also destroyed by Artsakh’s defense,
but it is unclear what kind of drone it specifically is.

Representative of the Armenian Defense Ministry Artsrun Hovhannisyan presented a trophy of the Artsakh Defense Army captured from Azerbaijan on the morning of Oct 25.

The Artsakh Ministry of Defense said:

Currently, local battles are taking place along the entire front line. Units of the Artsakh Defense Army continue to detect and destroy opponent sabotage and reconnaissance groups. During the night, the situation in the Artsakh-Azerbaijan conflict zone remained relatively stable and tense. Artillery battles continued in some areas. At night, the Azerbaijani armed forces continued to fire at Armenian settlements. Artillery was used in the direction of the communities of Karmir Shuka, Tagavard, Gishi, Spitakashen of the Martuni district and the village of Avetaranots of the Askeran district. At the same time, opponent forces attacked not only peaceful settlements, but also adjacent territories with forests and agricultural fields. There are no military installations in these localities. There are no victims among the civilian population.

Weapons of Karabakh War: Israel’s Orbiter 1K Loitering Munition UAV
South Front, Oct 25 2020

The Orbiter 1K Mini UAV system is a loitering munition, manufactured by Israel’s Aeronautics Defense Systems. It has been used in the Middle East since it was first developed. The system is used for ‘Over The Hill’ reconnaissance missions, Low Intensity Conflicts and Urban warfare operations as well as any close range ISTAR mission. Aeronautics announced in May 2015 the Orbiter 1K “Kingfisher” version with a fuselage adapted to carry a 2 kg explosive payload, turning it into a loitering munition. It can be controlled by an operator, or is capable of being given a waypoint and independently scanning the area to detect and destroy a stationary or moving target. If a target is not detected, the Orbiter 1K can return to base and land for reuse. The Oribter 1K can fly for 2–3 hours carrying an electro-optical/infrared sensor with a unique warhead that, due to its low acoustic signature, “is not detected until two seconds before it starts its kill dive.” Aeronautics announced the armed loitering UAV achieved operational status in Aug 2016

An Azerbaijani variant of the Orbiter 1K was also produced by Azerbaijan called “Iti Qovan” which literally translates to “chasing like dogs” (i.e. Azebaijani forces chase Armenians). Azerbaijan’s Ministry of Defence Industry has begun the mass production of “a new type of unmanned aerial vehicle,” “Iti qovan” (“Dog Chaser”), with greater destructive power. This historic expression stated by Supreme Commander-in-Chief Ilham Aliyev has been inscribed on UAVs’ wings. The new type is just the Orbiter 1K with a different paint scheme.

Brief Overview Of Recent Azerbaijani Strikes On Armenian Forces In Nagorno-Karabakh
South Front, Oct 24 2020

Azerbaijani combat drones continue to inflict heavy losses on Armenian forces in the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh. On Oct 24, the Ministry of Defense of Azerbaijan shared videos showing recent strikes on the following targets:

  • 3 artillery posts;
  • 5 D-30 122 mm howitzers, three of which were towed by trucks;
  • 1 KS-19 100 mm gun;
  • 1 Giatsint-B 152 mm howitzer;
  • 7 T-72 battle tanks;
  • 1 military SUV.

Most of the strikes seen in the videos were carried out with Turkish-made Bayraktar TB2 combat drones. Azerbaijan purchased several systems of this type a few months ago. The Azerbaijani MoD also released a video of recent artillery and rocket strikes on Armenian positions in Nagorno-Karabakh.

The heavy and precise fire of Azerbaijani forces forced Armenian troops to withdrew from several areas in Nagorno-Karabakh. Earlier today, the Armenian side finally acknowledged losing the south-eastern part of the region.

Armenian Military Acknowledges Losing Southern Nagorno-Karabakh
South Front, Oct 24 2020

The Ministry of Defense of Armenia has finally acknowledged losing ground in Nagorno-Karabakh’s southern part to Azerbaijani forces. In a press briefing on Oct 24, Artsrun Hovhannisian, representative of the Armenian MoD, presented an interactive map showing the directions of military operations in the disputed region. The map revealed that Azerbaijani forces are in control of the southeastern part of Nagorno-Karabakh. However, in the north-eastern directions, Azerbaijani forces have apparently failed to develop their ground attack any further. Hovhannisian said Armenian forces repelled several Azerbaijani attacks on Nagorno-Karabakh’s southern part recently. Several settlements were even recaptured. The MoD representative also claimed that the settlements of Hadrut and Fuzuli are still under the control of Armenian forces. These claims are questionable to say the least. The Azerbaijani side released videos showing its troops there a few days ago. Hovhannisian told reporters:

The map is not static, as the operations are rapidly changing. In many places sabotage groups may appear which the enemy presents as success, but on the other day they will be thrown back.

The Azerbaijani military is relying on its heavy fire-power and advanced guided weapons and the support of hundreds of Turkish-backed Syrian militants. The maps presented by the Armenian MoD today represent the country’s first official acknowledgment of Azerbaijani advance in Nagorno-Karabakh. Yerevan has been denying losing any important areas in the disputed region, since the outbreak of the battle on Sep 27.

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