Battle of Aghdam
|Battle of Aghdam|
|Part of the Nagorno-Karabakh War|
|Commanders and leaders|
| Samvel Babayan
1 squadron of Mi-24's
~ 60 tanks
unknown number of tanks, armoured fighting vehicles and Mi-24 helicopters
|Casualties and losses|
Following Operation Goranboy in 1992, the Azeri forces lost the control of the territory of former Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast by mid-1993. During the military coup in Ganja by Colonel Surat Huseynov followed by political turmoil in Baku in June 1993, Huseynov pulled his forces back from the Karabakh front and marched on Baku. The Armenian forces advanced on Agdam. The city of Agdam is about 30 km northeast of Stepanakert. Azerbaijanis in Agdam and Armenians in Stepanakert and Askeran would exchange heavy artillery fire. The shelling of Agdam became more intense starting from early March 1993.
The occupation of Agdam started on June 12 from north and south of Agdam using Grad missile lanchers, heavy artillery and tanks. The campaign also included simultaneous assault on Tartar. The first attack on the city was repelled by Azerbaijani defense. The clash was marked by the death of Monte Melkonian, a famed Armenian military commander. Armenians were able to capture Farukh mountain 10 km away from Agdam overlooking the town from the northeast. Khydyrly village around which Azerbaijani forces took up positions fell next. Shelling of Qiyasli village situated several kilometers behind the city of Agdam to the east, started on June 20 and within three days was overrun by Armenian forces. At the same time, the Armenian forces moved towards the city from the south occupying Merzili and Yusifcanlı villages. By July 5, the city of Agdam was surrounded by Armenian forces and was subject to heavy artillery and Grad bombardment. The city of Agdam fell on July 23.
Despite the national mobilization, Azerbaijani forces were able to retake only a few villages but not the city. Today the city lies in ruins and is used by the Nagorno-Karabakh Defense Army as a vital strategic defense point.
Following the battle of Aghdam, on July 25 ceasefire was announced by Armenian authorities and Azerbaijani government. In the course of next three months, Armenians occupied four new Azerbaijani districts of Qubadli, Jabrayil, Fizuli and Zangelan resulting in displacement of 250,000–300,000 Azerbaijani civilians.
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