Who holds higher ground on the Armenian-Azeri border in the north?

With the rise in tension on the Armenia-Azerbaijani border, we conducted a brief analysis of which side has the higher ground on the segment of the border that has experienced numerous skirmishes and shootouts in recent times. This segment of the border is custodied by Azerbaijan’s State Border Service and parts of it by Armenia’s interior troops along with members of its armed forces.

Having higher ground does not automatically give one an advantage, as it can also make one an easier target. Nonetheless, in some cases higher ground gives a strategic advantage if other factors line up in one’s favour.

This segment is only 120 km of the 614 km of militarised border between Armenia and Azerbaijan (not considering territories under Nagorno Karabakh’s control). Along it, one sees different areas of the border where one or the other side has higher ground.

A careful terrain analysis revealed that Azerbaijan tends to occupy higher ground along this segment of the border, followed by equal height for both sides, and last Armenia, who controls less areas of higher ground.

Factors considered here were the altitude above sea level for opposing military positions, along with the distance between them. Military positions within approximately 50 metres in altitude of each other at a distance of are considered equal height if the distance between them is over 500 metres. Given that the further the distance, the lesser an advantage one has if situated higher than the other.

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