EU Observer Mission in Armenia Fired Upon

EU Observer Mission in Armenia Fired Upon


What Happened

The EU Observer Mission in Armenia (EUMA) came under fire today at approximately 12:20PM local time by Azerbaijani units. Following the incident, the Armenian Ministry of Defence posted about the incident on its website, to which the EU observer mission posted on Twitter that they had not been targeted, and Azerbaijan’s MoD posted that they had not fired upon the EU vehicles, calling the incident “disinformation disseminated by the opposing side”.

The EUMA has since corrected their statement, stating that the “EUMA patrol has been present to the shooting incident in our area of responsibility”. Both Armenia and the EUMA have confirmed there were no casualties in the incident.

Video Evidence and Differing Statements

Following the EUMA and Azeri denial, however, came video evidence. A video surfaced which showed two of the members of the Mission sheltering in an Armenian trench, who stated that the Azeri troops had been firing at them and their vehicles, pointing out Azeri positions on some nearby hills. Following the publicization of the video, the EUMA deleted their original tweet which denied the incident, and instead posted the following, confirming the incident:

The observers in the video were speaking English. The video may be viewed below:



Armenia’s Statement

Armenia’s statement on the incident is rather short, and may be read below:

On August 15, at around 12:20 p.m., Azerbaijani AF units discharged fire from fire arms targeting the EU observers patrolling in the vicinity of Verin Shorzha and their vehicle.
There are no casualties.

Azerbaijan’s Statement

Azerbaijan’s statement is longer, and in it accuses Armenia of lying, stating it would have been impossible for Azerbaijan to have fired upon the EUMA. The full statement may be read below:

The information spread in Armenian media resources that on August 15, at about 12:20, Azerbaijan Army Units allegedly opened fire in the direction of the European Union observers and their car in the Yukhari Shorzha settlement of the Basarkechar region, does not correspond to reality, but is another disinformation disseminated by the opposing side.
We inform that the time of the European Union observers’ visits in the direction of the conditional border in Armenia, their movement route, coordinates in the area, as well as the brand and vehicle registration plates of the cars, are presented to the Azerbaijani side in advance.
For this reason, it is theoretically and practically impossible for such a situation to occur as claimed by the Armenian Ministry of Defense.

Note that both sides use differing language to refer to location.

Sébastien Gray
Sébastien Gray
Sébastien Gray is a published journalist and historicist with over 5 years experience in writing. His primary focus is on East and West African affairs.
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