Azerbaijan’s Defence Ministry on Tuesday said that it launched a military offensive against Armenia, which it calls an “anti-terrorist” operation, to take control of its breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh. Azerbaijan announced the start of the operation hours after four soldiers and two civilians died in landmine explosions in the contentious region.
The Azerbaijan forces have reportedly opened fire on Armenian positions in the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region. Meanwhile, ethnic Armenian officials claimed that at least two civilians were killed and 11 wounded in the heavy artillery fire around the region’s capital.
Tensions have been prevalent for years between Armenia and Azerbaijan, the latest military offensive comes as a part of the ongoing struggle to assume control of the ethnic Armenian enclave in the Nagorno-Karabakh region recognised internationally as part of Azerbaijan.
Top Updates in the ongoing Azerbaijan-Armenia conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh
At least two civilians were killed while 11 others were wounded in the heavy artillery firing in the region’s capital, AFP reported quoting ethnic Armenian officials.
Front-line positions and military assets of Armenia’s armed forces were being “incapacitated using high-precision weapons,” and only legitimate military targets were attacked, the Azerbaijan ministry said.
The Nagorno-Karabakh Human Rights Ombudsman said 2 civilians were killed and 23 wounded in attacks by Azerbaijan’s military.
Armenia’s foreign ministry urged Russian peacekeeping troops stationed at Nagorno-Karabakh to intervene and stop Azerbaijan’s “full-scale aggression” against the locals.
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said his army was not involved in the fighting and the situation on the border was ‘stable.’
The separatist leadership of Azerbaijan’s ethnic Armenian-populated region of Nagorno-Karabakh proposed a ceasefire and talks with Baku, the official statement said.
The Kremlin said it is in touch with both Azerbaijan and Armenia and has urged both parties to reach negotiations to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
According to media reports, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is likely to speak to both Azerbaijan and Armenia’s delegations regarding the ongoing offensive.
The European Union on Tuesday condemned the military escalation in Karabakh and called on Azerbaijan to stop its current military activities.
Azerbaijan restricted access to TikTok in the region, reported The Insider.
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan held phone calls with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and French President Emmanuel Macron over Azerbaijan’s military operations in Karabakh.