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Today is Monte Melkonian’s birthday

November 25 is the birthday of national hero of Armenia and Artsakh, legendary commander, activist of national-liberation struggle of the Armenian people Monte Melkonyan. He would have turned 64 today.

Today is Monte Melkonian’s birthday

Today is Monte Melkonian’s birthday
STEPANAKERT, NOVEMBER 25, ARTSAKHPRESS: Monte Melkonyan was born on November 25, 1957 at Visalia Municipal Hospital in Visalia, California.
At the age of 20 he studied at the Berkeley University in California and graduated with a double title. While studying at the university he established the “Armenian Student Union”. In 1978, he entered Oxford University, but did not finish, went to Lebanon during the civil war (around 3 years) and took part in the defensive battle of the Armenian quarter of Beirut.
He was the leader of an offshoot of the Armenian Secret Army for the Liberation of Armenia (ASALA) in the 1980s and the most celebrated commander during the Nagorno-Karabakh War in the early 1990s.
He focused his energy on Nagorno-Karabakh.
"If we lose Karabakh, we turn the final page of our people's history." He believed that, if Azeri forces succeeded in deporting Armenians from Karabakh, they would advance on Zangezur and other regions of Armenia. Thus, he saw the fate of Karabakh as crucial for the long-term security of the entire Armenian nation.
On September 12 (or 14) 1991 Monte travelled to Shahumyan region (north of Karabakh), where he fought for three months in the fall of 1991. There he participated in the capture of Erkej, Manashid and Buzlukh villages.
On February 4, 1992 Melkonyan arrived in Martuni as the regional commander. Upon his arrival the changes were immediately felt: civilians started feeling more secure and at peace as Azeri armies were pushed back and were finding it increasingly difficult to shell Martuni's residential areas with GRAD missiles.
In April 1993, Melkonyan was one of the chief military strategists who planned and led the operation to fight Azeri fighters and capture the region of Kalbajar of Azerbaijan. Armenian forces captured the region in four days of heavy fighting, sustaining far fewer fatalities than the enemy.
Monte was killed in the abandoned Azerbaijani village of Merzili in the early afternoon of June 12, 1993 during the Battle of Agdam.