© YouTube / Azerbaijan's Defense Ministry © YouTube / Azerbaijan's Defense Ministry

Baku claims to have destroyed S-300 air defense system

 ... & killed or wounded 2,300 Armenian soldiers as Karabakh clashes continues

Azerbaijan claims to have killed or wounded more than 2,000 Armenian troops during four days of fierce fighting in the contested Nagorno-Karabakh region. Yerevan's own estimate of losses sustained, so far, is considerably lower.

Around 2,300 "enemy personnel" have been killed or wounded since fighting broke out at the weekend, Azerbaijan's Defense Ministry reported on Wednesday. Officials added that an Armenian S-300 air defense missile system was destroyed at the frontline in Karabakh, along with around 130 tanks and more than 200 artillery pieces.

Yerevan had previously denied Baku's claims of killing hundreds of its soldiers. Armenia's Defense Ministry spokesperson Shushan Stepanyan said that 16 servicemen were killed.

Officials in Nagorno-Karabakh, a self-declared republic within the borders of Azerbaijan that is closely allied with Armenia, meanwhile, reported that 80 of its soldiers were killed.

Heavy fighting broke out on September 27 after both sides blamed each other for violating a 1994 ceasefire agreement. The clashes continued throughout Wednesday morning as Azerbaijan accused Armenia of shelling the town of Tartar in the west of the country. At the same time, Stepanyan said that artillery fire continued along the entire frontline in Karabakh. She added that two Azeri drones were shot down over Karabakh's capital Stepanakert. 

Azerbaijan is openly backed by its longtime ally Turkey, an historical enemy of Armenia, whose leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan demanded that Yerevan ends its "occupation" of Karabakh. On Tuesday, the Armenian military claimed that one of its Su-25 fighter jets was shot down by a Turkish American-made F-16. Both Ankara and Baku denied this.

The century-old conflict in Karabakh was reignited when the large Armenian-populated enclave broke away from Azerbaijan during the breakup of the Soviet Union. A truce was signed after several years of bloody warfare, under which Nagorno-Karabakh became de facto independent from Baku's control. 


(Source: rt.com; September 30, 2020; https://on.rt.com/arf9)
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