Armenian army and Azeri army war casualties increase
The war waged by Azerbaijan against the Nagorno-Karabagh enclave supported by Armenia has already seen a sigificant number of military and civilian casualties. This enclave is claimed by both Armenia and Azerbaijan.
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Armenian 152mm 2S3 Akatsiya self-propelled howitzer about to be hit by an Azeri loitering munition (Picture source: Azeri MoD, published on Oryx Twitter account)
Over the past decade, artillery shelling and minor skirmishes between Azerbaijani and Armenian troops have caused hundreds of deaths. Early April 2016 witnessed the most intense fighting since 1994, killing dozens and producing more than three hundred casualties. After four days of fighting, the two sides announced that they had agreed on a cease-fire.
The new fighting is the heaviest seen in the long-running conflict since 2016. Turkey has already openly backed Azerbaijan (they share the same language), while Russia - which has a military base in Armenia - has called for an immediate ceasefire. Russia is an armament provider to both countries.
Confirmed Armenian losses at the hands of Azerbaijani loitering munitions are four T-72 MBTs (including the first confirmed loss of a T-72B), one BMP and the first confirmed SPG casualty: 1 152mm 2S3 Akatsiya self-propelled howitzer. Later, the loss of a first T-72AV has been confirmed, for a total of 15 tanks confirmed to have been lost by the Armenians so far. Azerbaijani forces have lost 13 tanks, but more Infantry Fighting Vehicles (Azerbaijan: 12, Armenia: 5). These figures will obviously increase.
Without successful mediation efforts, cease-fire violations and renewed tensions threaten to reignite a larger military conflict between the countries and destabilize the South Caucasus region, Global Conflict Tracker warns. This could also disrupt oil and gas exports from the region, since Azerbaijan, which produces about 800,000 barrels of oil per day, is a significant oil and gas exporter to Europe and Central Asia. Russia has promised to defend Armenia, Turkey has pledged to support Azerbaijan, and Iran has a large Azeri minority, which could escalate a crisis and entangle actors involved.
152mm 2S3 Akatsiya self-propelled howitzer (Picture source: Vitaly Kuzmin)