Six years ago this day, Azerbaijan launched a large-scale military offensive across the entire line of contact with Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh). Clashes that began in the wee hours of April 2 in 2016 lasted four days and were later dubbed the Four-Day War or the April War.
Throughout the military campaign, 64 soldiers, 13 volunteers and four civilians, including a child, were killed and more than 120 people were wounded. According to information from the U.S. Department of State, the Azerbaijanis lost more than 270 people overall.
Azerbaijan initiated major military operations, making use of almost all the types of equipment it possessed in its arsenal.
Just like the early 1990s, the entire Armenian nation in Armenia, Artsakh and the Diaspora united to defend Artsakh.
A number of events and protest rallies were organized in various corners of the world, which sought to put an end to Azerbaijan’s aggression against Karabakh. People arranged fundraisers and did whatever they could do to help calm the situation.
Of particular importance is the major flow of volunteers from Armenia to Artsakh, which included not only Karabakh war veterans but also a lot of youth.
Armenia's then president Serzh Sargsyan met with the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs on April 4, 2016 to brief them on the situation along the contact line. The Minsk Group, in turn, convened a meeting the next day in Vienna and released a statement afterwards, condemning the military operations in the conflict zone.
In Berlin, the then OSCE chairman-in-office Frank-Walter Steinmeier said: “Reports on the cessation of hostilities are encouraging. Our immediate efforts must now focus on stabilizing the ceasefire and preventing any new escalation. Hostilities must stop in an effective and lasting way. In this regard, I welcome the early visit of the co-chairs to the region. I remain in close contact with the sides and other international actors.”
As a result, an agreement on the cessation of hostilities was reached four days after Azerbaijan’s attack, on April 5.
In the days that followed, the agreement was chiefly observed, although Azerbaijan initiated unsuccessful subversive attacks.