BEIRUT, LEBANON (9:20 A.M.) – The Armenian ambassador to Russia, Vardan Taganyan, said on Monday that his country would use its Russian-made Iskander missiles if Turkey began to use F-16s in Karabakh, explaining that his country has sufficient air defense systems to get rid of Turkish drones.
“The military leadership has repeatedly stated that if the Sword of Damocles was deployed in the form of Turkish F-16 fighters on the Karabakh people, all measures would be taken, including the use of the Iskanders. That is, the Armed Forces of Armenia would have to fully use their arsenal to ensure security. ”
The Nagorno Karabakh region announced on Monday that 27 Armenian fighters were killed during clashes with the Azerbaijani army, bringing the total of the military deaths to 58.
“27 soldiers were killed in the fighting on Monday,” the Defense Ministry in Karabakh said in a statement on the second day of the fighting. The total number of dead rose to 67, including nine civilians killed, seven in Azerbaijan and two on the Armenian side, according to Agence France-Presse.
World leaders urged a halt to the fighting after the worst clashes since 2016 raised the prospect of a new war between former Soviet states Armenia and Azerbaijan.
Officials in Baku and Yerevan said violent clashes continued throughout Monday. The Ministry of Defense in Karabakh claimed that its forces repelled the Azerbaijani tank attack on the southern sector of the front line.
The Azerbaijani Ministry of Defense said that its forces destroyed “several artillery units of the enemy with a precise blow.”
Armenia and Azerbaijan have been locked in a regional conflict since the 1990s, when the Armenian-majority Karabakh declared independence after a war that claimed 30,000 lives.