Armenia simulates strike at Azeri oil, gas

Armenia simulates strike at Azeri oil, gas

Armenia simulates strike at Azeri oil, gas

An officer looks at a machine gun at an exercise in Armenia. ‘We do not plan any strikes on cities,’ says a top Armenian general referring to an exercise. AFP Photo

Armenia recently held an exercise in which it modeled several strikes on Azerbaijan’s oil and gas facilities, a top Armenian general has told local media.

The two-week “strategic” exercises took place in undisclosed locations in Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh between Oct. 1 and 13, utilizing a mostly “command-and-staff” format, according to Armenian Azatutyun radio.

“In particular, I can stress that we modeled several strikes on oil and gas infrastructures, energy carriers that would affect the economy,” Major-Gen. Artak Davtian, head of the operational department at the Armenian army’s General Staff, said. “We simulated strikes against both army units and military facilities of the probable enemy and … economic facilities that influence, in one way or another, the military capacity of its armed forces.” “There would be no strikes on the civilian population, we are not planning or playing out such a war scenario,” Davtian said at a press conference after the conclusion of the exercises. “We do not plan any strikes on cities. Our targets are military and economic facilities that are essential to a particular state.”

According to the Armenian military, 40,000 troops and thousands of pieces of military hardware were involved in the exercise. The participating personnel included a record-high number of army reservists.

300-km range missiles

Davtian avoided naming the weapons used in the exercise, but said that the country’s missiles had a firing range of more than 300 kilometers, putting virtually all strategic facilities in Azerbaijan within their reach. The Armenian Defense Ministry has said that the latest “unprecedented” war exercises were planned in advance.