On August 15, Aram Torosyan, Press Secretary of the Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Armenia, posted information on his social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter) that on the same day in the afternoon, the units of the Azerbaijani Armed Forces fired from small arms targeting the EU monitoring mission patrols in the direction of Verin Shorzha and their car.
Torosyan reported that there were no casualties.
🇦🇲🇦🇿 On Aug 15, at around 12:20 p.m., #Azerbaijan|i AF units discharged fire from fire_arms targeting the#EU observers🇪🇺 (@EUmARMENIA) patrolling in the vicinity of #Verin_Shorzha and their vehicle.
There are no casualties. pic.twitter.com/HfSJXZzEU9
— Aram Torosyan (🇦🇲MOD) (@ToroseanAram) August 15, 2023
Hours later, the EU mission denied the information on its Twitter account, claiming that “nobody from the EU patrols was targeted.”
Moreover, the Armenian office of the EU published the post of the spokesperson of the Ministry of Defense with the label FALSE.
The Ministry of Defense of Azerbaijan, in its turn, denied the information, stating that the EU mission patrols inform Baku in advance about the route and coordinates of their movement, as well as provide data on their car license plates and brands.
“The units of the Azerbaijani army are informed about the visits of the mission, that is why the incident reported by the Ministry of Defense of Armenia is theoretically and practically impossible,” the Ministry of Defense of Azerbaijan stated.
In the comment section of the mentioned twitter post of the EU monitoring mission denying the statement of the RA Ministry of Defense, a video appeared shortly after, in which, in one of the Armenian positions, one of the EU mission patrols tells how the Azerbaijanis targeted them and their cars.
The video was also shared on Armenian Telegram channels.
Not long after the video was published, the page of the EU monitoring mission removed their post that was denying the statement of the RA Ministry of Defense.
Instead, the monitoring mission published another post on its Twitter account, confirming that the “EU monitoring mission patrol was present at the shooting incident in their area of responsibility”.
We confirm that #EUMA patrol has been present to the shooting incident in our area of responsibility.
❗️No #EUMA member was harmed.
— European Union Mission in Armenia (@EUmARMENIA) August 15, 2023
Thus, although the EU monitoring mission hastened to deny the statement of the Armenian side about targeting the patrols, the video spread in the Armenian social media domains documented the opposite.
At the same time, after the video went viral, the mission removed its denial, essentially confirming that the Azerbaijani side fired at Armenian positions in the presence of observers.
At the same time, in the latest post, the EU office does not deny that EU mission patrols were the target of the shooting, while denying the statement of the Ministry of Defense of Azerbaijan.