On July 13-16, skirmishes broke out between Armenian and Azerbaijani troops along the border between the two countries near the Armenian town of Tavush. The fighting involved tanks, artillery and drones, with an estimated 16 killed on both sides. Among those killed in action was Azerbaijani Major General Polad Hashimov.
Each country accused the other of starting the fighting and targeting civilians.
On July 13, United Nations Secretary General spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said a war between the two countries “would be disastrous.” The European Union Special Representative for the South Caucasus, Toivo Klaar, urged both countries to “show restraint,” and the U.S. State Department called for de-escalation.
After the clashes, American media personality Kim Kardashian West, whose father has Armenian heritage, posted a message about the fighting on social media. Kardashian has nearly 66 million followers on Twitter.
According to a Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty report, Azerbaijani Defense Ministry spokesman Vagif Dargahli said on July 16: “The Armenian side must not forget that our army's state-of-the-art missile systems allow us to strike the Metsamor nuclear plant with precision, which could lead to a great catastrophe for Armenia.”
But according to the nonpartisan Jamestown Foundation, a Washington, D.C. think tank, the statement was only a threat of retaliation should Armenia attack Azerbaijan’s critical oil and gas infrastructure.
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