April Battles – Beginning of Great Victory

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Baku, 2 April 2021 –

Today marks the 5th anniversary of the beginning of the April battles. Why did the fighting start? Shortly before the incident, Armenian officials used traditional threatening rhetoric against Azerbaijan and Turkey. At a meeting with Armenian youth, then-President Serzh Sargsyan made accusations against Turkey and distorted the essence of the April 1915 events. In addition, he claimed that Karabakh belonged to the Armenians.

Armenia stated that it holds the surrounding areas under its control to ensure the security of the Armenians in Karabakh. In this way, they and their supporters tried to persuade Azerbaijan to "accept the independence of Karabakh''. This issue was also at the heart of the events of April 2016. Avoiding negotiations and refusing to comply with the demands of the international community, the Armenian government sought to assert itself by intensifying military operations in Karabakh. Besides, Serzh Sargsyan began to use the Karabakh issue to raise his profile. Armenians had intensively violated ceasefire since mid-March 2016. Starting from the night of April 2, all frontline positions of the Azerbaijani Army and settlements underwent intensive enemy fire. In the end, Armenians resorted to armed provocations on the line of confrontation between April 2 and April 5. The civilian population was also attacked during the provocations. Azerbaijani service members were martyred in these events, and there were civilians among those dead and injured.

Azerbaijani Army responded with retaliatory fire on the Armenian positions during the battles; a prompt counterattack liberated over 2000 hectares of lands, and more areas were taken under control from an operational viewpoint. In order to defend the city of Horadiz from the enemy, Azerbaijani armed forces regained control of the strategically important Lele Tepe height in the direction of the Fuzuli region. 320 Armenian servicemen were killed in the clashes, over 500 were injured.

What did the four days of fighting prove? Azerbaijan has once again showed the world that it would not accept the occupation of its lands and would release them sooner or later. Azerbaijan once again called on Armenians and their supporters to respect international law, its norms, the UN, and its Security Council resolutions. The developments proved that the Azerbaijani government and society adhere to the same stance on the liberation of areas. The fighting also showed that the country's public supports the government in all ways to release the lands from occupation. These battles once again set the goal of ensuring the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan. This message was once again given to the international community, Armenians, and their supporters. At the same time, the four-day events can be considered a major rehearsal for Azerbaijan. The battles we are talking about dispelled the myth about the invincible Armenian army. Those who supported the Armenians, relying on this army and the prolongation of the occupation, were once again exposed. Azerbaijan called on the world to be fair. Also, the April fighting reaffirmed the inactivity of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs. The April battles laid the foundation for the counterattack launched by the Azerbaijani Armed Forces on September 27 to liberate the occupied territories.

Currently, the Armenian society is facing political, economic, social, cultural, and military confusion. The crisis in this direction continues in the country. Emigration from the country has intensified. Army generals tried to revolt against the government and overthrow it. Official Yerevan is forced to hold snap parliamentary elections. A criminal case has been launched against former Presidents Robert Kocharian and Serzh Sargsyan over various incidents. Scandals continue in the National Security Service of Armenia. Service directors change frequently. Prices for daily consumer goods are rising in the country. Parents of conscripts and soldiers in Armenia are protesting against their sons' military service in Karabakh. The number of those in the Armenian community and ruling circles admit the fact of occupation of Azerbaijani lands. Nikol Pashinyan acknowledged that Shusha belongs to Azerbaijan. This and other similar events were promoted by the victory in the April battles. The Armenian parliament has set up a temporary commission to investigate the reasons of the defeat in the April 2019 fightings. The commission has not yet completed its work. Serzh Sargsyan has repeatedly given testimonies at hearings in this body. He said in an interview with Armnews that they also discussed the return of seven occupied regions to Azerbaijan. Chief of the General Staff of the Armenian Armed Forces Artak Davtyan admitted that they drew lessons from the April fighting. The Armenian people and government will remember the four-day war for many years to come. Its defeat in the 44-day war will never be forgotten.

Finally, the four-day fighting strengthened national unity and solidarity in Azerbaijan. This unity manifested itself in all spheres during the Patriotic War. The April battles also once again revealed the friends and enemies of Azerbaijan. It turned out that they have been the same for more than 100 years. In the Second Karabakh War, both friends and enemies were in their places.

This is how the victory in the four-day battle led to the triumph.

Sadraddin Ismayilov

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