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"“Armenians witnessed the strength of Azerbaijani Army”"

Elman Mammadov: “"All provocation attempts by Armenia will be deflected from now on too and we will deal more severe blows to the enemy”"

The armed forces of Armenia started to regularly shoot at residential areas from the occupied territories of Azerbaijan and have carried out provocations in the contact line starting from March 31. But due to watchfulness of our army, all of the provocations of the enemy have been prevented. According to the Ministry of Defense, Armenian servicemen have suffered many losses and started to run in fear and leave their weapons behind as a result of preventive actions and accurate shots fired by the Armed Forces of Azerbaijan. Hundreds of Armenian servicemen have been killed and their military equipment destroyed. Fortification, visual exploration of the area and correction of the fire were carried out in the areas that are more favorable and strategically superior that fell under the control of our Armed Forces. Elman Mammadov, a representative of Public Union "The Azerbaijani Community of Nagorno Karabakh” and MP from Khojaly, talked to “Kaspi” about the recent events. 
- Mr. Mammadov, on March 31, armed forces of Armenia started various provocations in the contact line and the heavy fighting is still going on. Is this a coincidence that these provocations took place at a time when our president was in the USA or was this a planned attack? 
 - During the presidency of our national leader Haydar Aliyev, as well as Mr. Ilham Aliyev, Armenian armed forces have regularly resorted to provocations in the contact line at the order of the political leadership of Armenia. Armenians have caused tensions in contact line particularly when Azerbaijan hosted international events, during holidays or when the president made official visits abroad or held important meetings and talks on the resolution of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict. When Azerbaijani president attended the IV Nuclear Security Summit at the request of the US president, Armenian provocation happened in contact line. Starting from March 31, Armenian armed forces began committing sabotages in various directions of contact line and attempted to sneak into our positions. They were trying to achieve something. But the opposite happened. Not only all of their sabotages and attempts were deflected, they were crushed and had to retreat, we even took back the control of several strategic heights. Armenians saw the strength of the Azerbaijani army. Our president rightly stated , by appealing to the international law, at the meeting of the Security Council that if Armenian soldier doesn'’t want to die, he shouldn’'t come to Azerbaijani territories and should go back to his own lands. We are right in this matter, we are defending our territories. We haven’'t carried out the first attack, Armenia has and Azerbaijani army responded accordingly. 
-After the sabotage of the enemy was prevented in the frontline and our Army dealt heave blows to Armenians, many organizations and officials began voicing their concern. Why do these people, who are not in favor of the conflict, are displaying one-sided, pro-Armenian stance?  
-We have prevented Armenian provocation and protected our country and civilians. We don'’t understand why anyone would be concerned because of it. If the rockets and shelling fired by Armenians fell on the homes and heads of these concerned politicians and international organizations and kill their children, what would they do? Would they still be concerned for Armenians? On the other hand, why were those international organizations silent when the enemy took advantage of the weak state of Azerbaijan in 1990s and invaded Azerbaijani lands? They weren’'t concerned when Azerbaijan had more than 30 thousand martyrs and tens of thousands of its servicemen were wounded and about a million of our population became refugees and IDPs. I’'m from Karabakh, Khojaly, to be specific. Since the day Armenians began their separatist activities in Nagorno-Karabakh until the day of war, until our lands were invaded, I'’ve been involved in the process and fought against the enemy along with our army. I’'m someone who witnessed the massacre in Khojaly and lives through that tragedy. I say this unambiguously, those who are now worried about Armenians retreating in the frontline and those who have risen to defend them now and are issuing various statements are the same people who supported the occupiers in Karabakh war. Armenians committed the tragedy of XX century –- the Khojaly massacre in February 25-26 of 1992 with the help of the personnel of 366th infantry regiment that belonged to former USSR and its successor Russian Federation. This is reality. Russian media now continues to support Armenia through media outlets just like Russian servicemen supported Armenians in Karabakh war. The Armenian provocation that began on March 31 and subsequent events have been distorted and presented in a way that only serves the interest of Armenia. Armenians have almost taken control of all Russian media and the lies they are selling not only are against the interest of Azerbaijan but also the state of Russia. 
- Despite being a co-chairman of OSCE Minsk Group and supporting the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, Russia has allowed separatist “"Nagorno Karabakh Republic"” to open a “"Representative Office”" in its territory and even invited the “head” of the “"representative office”" to go on air and comment on the recent developments on contact line... 
- Being a co-chairman of OSCE Minsk Group, and mediator in the resolution of Nagorno-Karabakh means that a state supports the peaceful resolution of the conflict. But let’'s take a look at reality. If these mediators and the countries they represent were indeed in favor of the international law and justice, then what does the representatives of a so-called republic do in their countries? The representatives of the separatist so-called “Nagorno-Karabakh Republic” are present in almost all countries of the co-chairs. The representative of this so-called republic move without any restrictions in the West and the territory of the EU and even collect donations in order to increase their aggressive activities. This is blatant hypocrisy and it is indirectly supporting separatism by opposing the international law. This hypocrisy, injustice and unfairness was displayed once again after the latest events in contact line. How can you announce that you support the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan but give refuge to a separatist that want to violate this integrity?
- According to the statement of the Ministry of Defense, Azerbaijani forces organized counter-attack while they were preventing the enemy'’s attacks and broke through the first Armenian line of defense in some directions of the front line and some strategically important heights and residential areas have been liberated. What are the strategic importance of those heights entitled Talish, Seysulan and “Lala tepe”? 
- I'’ve been to the residential areas near contact line from April 2 till today (yesterday). I’'ve talked to the local people and our servicemen. The members of “Public Union "The Azerbaijani Community of Nagorno Karabakh” were with me in those areas. Based on my observations, knowledge and what our servicemen have told me, I can say that taking back the heights around the village of Talysh as well as Seysulan settlement means that any threat against the towns of Goranboy and Naftalan is removed. Armenians had strengthened their position in those heights in the last 20 years. Yesterday the enemy continuously fired at the residential areas in Terter and Goranboy, as well as residential areas in Naftalan. Several villages in these regions would often suffer damages and losses due to the violation of the ceasefire by the enemy. The villagers couldn’'t live their day to day lives and do farming or agriculture. Now this threat is gone and their security is ensured. Liberation of the positions that were under the occupation of Armenians have allowed our army to further tighten our control on the enemy. Taking back the control of the height “Lala tepe”  serves to protect that town of Horadiz from the threats from the enemy. At the same time, this height has strategic importance and allows the army to keep under the control the large areas around Fizuli region. The strengthening of our army in this position allows them to keep 15-20 kms territory under control. Armenians was powerful in this position since 1993-94 and they would often fire at residential areas. Now those heights and other ones are under our control. The strengthening measure have been implemented, new trenches were dug and all positions have been strengthened along new line of defense. I’m sure that all further provocation by the enemy will be prevented. 
- At a time when the enemy’s sabotages were deflected and they suffered heave losses, how do people living in areas close to contact line ?
- As I mentioned earlier, I have been to residential areas located close to contact line and attended the funerals of our martyrs. Our people and servicemen are in high spirits . Our people believe in Azerbaijani army, its strengths and might. The unity of people and army is felt in every inch of our land. In recent days, hundreds of  Karabakh war veterans, former soldiers came to areas near the contact line and displayed their support for our servicemen. This is an example of our people’s unity, solidarity, its will to victory. As president Ilham Aliyev stated at the meeting of the Security Council, Azerbaijani side showed humanity and stopped the fire. But based on the latest reports coming from the front line, the enemy hasn’t stopped the gunfire and attempts to make new sabotages and retreats every time it is faced with the resistance from powerful Azerbaijani army. We will prevent every provocation by Armenian Armed Forces from now on too and will deal them deathly blows. Azerbaijani Army is now fighting in Armenia but against the enemy in occupied lands. This is our right. 
Rufik ISMAYILOV

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