Referring to the situation in Syunik during a press conference in the National Assembly on November 16, the head of the “Hayastan” faction, former Minister of Defense Seyran Ohanyan, said that the M2 highway leading from Yerevan to Goris had passed under the control of the enemy.
“It is obvious in the Syunik section, the new customs checkpoints on the Kapan-Goris road, the formation of a new situation and also the advancement of positions in the area from Ishkhanasar to Jermuk. In fact, today the Yerevan-Goris highway is under the control of the Azerbaijanis,” Ohanyan said.
The words Ohanyan used during the briefing were taken and spread as a headline by news.am, Factor.am, mamul.am, hraparak.am, lurer.com, panorama.am and a number of other news websites, causing a number of misinterpretations. Thus, some readers had a misconception that the road was closed, dangerous for traffic or that it was directly targeted by the enemy.
However, these statements have nothing to do with reality. On November 16, at 11:30 am, at the same time as Ohanyan was insisting during a press conference that the road was under Azerbaijani control, several FIP․am journalists were in the Sisian section of the Goris-Yerevan highway and did not notice any extraordinary incident. After being informed about the escalation of tension by Azerbaijan, the journalists of the Fact Investigation Platform drove back using the same road, and again did not encounter any obstacles. There was no disruption of traffic on the road throughout the day.
The Yerevan-Goris road is at least 6-12 km away from the part of Armenia where Azerbaijan attacked on November 14-16 and, according to the Ministry of Defense, took two positions.
At such a distance, the road is not accessible for either firearms or grenade launchers.
There is a different situation in the Yeraskh and Chiva sections of the same Yerevan-Goris highway, where the road is 800-1200 meters away from the Azerbaijani positions, and is a direct target.
FIP․am contacted Seyran Ohanyan, who said that he meant that Azerbaijan’s goal is to make progress in that area, and that the road is currently under observation.
“I meant that they are trying to take that road under full observation and if they observe, it also means that they control to a certain extent. I did not say they closed the road, they want to close it,” Ohanyan said.
To our observation that Azerbaijan was already monitoring the Yerevan-Goris road from the same Ishkhanasar and other heights, as well as in the Yeraskh section, Ohanyan answered that after the recent developments, the observation points of Azerbaijan have increased.
“As a result of continuous pressure, provocations and certain actions by Azerbaijan, the number of these observation posts has increased, from where they exercise control (observation – Ed.) of the road. There is a danger that these observation points may turn into control in the future,” Ohanyan added.
Thus, we can conclude that the M2 road from Yerevan to Goris is not under the control or direct target of Azerbaijan, and Ohanyan meant the observation of the road in his speech.