“Knowing the tactical situation, and understanding the capacity vested by Aliyev to conquer Shushi and understanding our capacity, I hope that the battle for Shushi will end tomorrow,” said Armenia’s Defense Ministry representative Artsrun Hovhannisyan during a press briefing on Sunday.
The battle for Shushi has been going on for the last four days. Having made significant gains with drones in the flat southern plains, but unable to make visible advances through the mountains, Azerbaijan is making an effort to secure a symbolic victory in Shushi.
“I am not going to comment on the announcement made by Azerbaijani political-military leadership regarding Shushi,” Hovhannisyan said, referring to a tweet made by Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev claiming to have liberated Shushi.
Aliyev’s tweet read: “I am fortunate to have fulfilled a father’s will. We liberated Shushi! This is a great victory! Today may the soul of National Leader and our martyrs be praised! I felicitate you, Azerbaijan!”
Armenia’s Ministry of Defense says fighting has been going on inside the city, around the city, and on the road to the city.
Heavy fighting also took place southwest of Shushi, in the direction of Berdzor. Armenia’s Defense Ministry said Azerbaijani forces attempted to move forward and support their troops fighting near Shushi, but they were thrown back and they retreated.
Sitting on a mountaintop, Shushi is Nagorno-Karabakh’s second biggest city, and is located on the main road that connects Karabakh to Armenia. That road has been closed on and off as fighting continues nearby. Armenia’s Ministry of Defense says that tactical-squad groups, including subversive groups, elite subdivisions, and mercenaries approach the Shushi road with light, high-speed armored vehicles.
If the road closes permanently, an irreversible humanitarian crisis would emerge in Karabakh.