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Iskander tactical missile systems were not used in Karabakh, say experts

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan earlier clamed that the Iskander missiles either did not explode or exploded only by 10 percent in the course of the conflict

MOSCOW, February 24. /TASS/. Iskander tactical missile systems were not used during the military conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh, experts told TASS on Wednesday, commenting on Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s claim about the launchers’ inefficiency.

"The Iskanders were not used during the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh and they made no launches. That is why, it is necessary to ask Pashinyan where his fantasies have come from," military expert Viktor Murakhovsky told TASS.

Iskander tactical missile systems were delivered to the Armenian army and teams were trained to operate them. Ballistic missiles were live-fired at the Kapustin Yar proving ground in the Astrakhan Region in Russia, the expert noted.

"Everything was 100 percent tested and there were no complaints," Murakhovsky stressed.

In turn, military expert Dmitry Litovkin presumed that Pashinyan’s statement was the Armenian leadership’s reaction that the war had not followed the scenario they had expected.

"You don’t wave your fists after a fight. As far as I know, the Iskanders were not used during the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh. That is why, it is incorrect to speak about where they fire at. Perhaps, the Armenian leadership’s discontent over its loss yields such side effects," he said.

In an interview with the local news portal on the evening of February 23, Pashinyan commented on ex-President Serzh Sargsyan’s statement that the Armenian side should have employed Iskander missiles during the first days of the military conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh.

Pashinyan suggested that Sargsyan should answer "why the Iskander missiles that were launched did not explode or only exploded by 10 percent."

Responding to a journalist’s question about whether this was possible, the Armenian premier said: "I don’t know." Armenia first announced acquiring Russian-made Iskander tactical missile systems in September 2016.

The Iskander-M tactical missile system is designated to strike adversary low-sized and site targets to a range of up to 500 km: missile launchers, multiple launch rocket systems, long-range artillery, aircraft and helicopters at aerodromes, command posts and communications centers.