Military Expert: Azerbaijan’s wasting its armaments and manpower

Military experts in Armenia believe that Azerbaijan’s application of heavy weapons against the Defense Army and civilians in Nagorno-Karabakh is a sign of its weakness rather than strength.

In recent days reports from the frontline suggest that Azerbaijan has been using its most deadly force, including TOS-1A heavy flame throwers and Smerch heavy multiple rocket launchers, in shelling Armenian military positions as well as areas populated by civilians.

According to Armenian authorities, there has been little damage from the use of these weapons due to “poor professionalism” of the Azerbaijani military.

Military expert Karen Vrtanesyan, meanwhile, describes it as a “desperate step” on the part of Azerbaijan that has failed to gain any significant ground in its latest military operations against Nagorno-Karabakh.

“At the moment I qualify it as a desperate step because they are using heavy weapons for a small tactical achievement. In other words, they won’t gain anything big, but they are trying to use everything they have,” Vrtanesyan told ArmeniaNow.

Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan on Monday also implied that Azerbaijan has been paying a high price for its insignificant advancement in Nagorno-Karabakh that still did not provide it with high ground.

Military authorities in Yerevan and Stepanakert estimate that Azerbaijan has lost more than 300 troops as well as a considerable amount of tanks, artillery, aircraft and other pieces of military hardware since the outbreak of fighting on April 2. As of late Monday, the Karabakh authorities acknowledged the deaths of 20 soldiers, saying that 72 were wounded and 26 were missing in action.

In Vrtanesyan’s opinion, in the current clashes the Azerbaijani side is wasting not only its weapons and armor, but also its human resources. “This way, the Azerbaijani side is wasting its resources, and their financial losses in this connection are also considerable. The matter concerns the loss of commandos whose training is very costly. We are talking about hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not millions,” he said.

The expert considers that in the meantime the Armenian side manages to give an adequate response. “We don’t have all of those types of weapons in Karabakh, but the weapons that are available there are used with maximum effect,” Vrtanesyan concluded.