Violence returned to the Nagorno-Karabakh enclave. Azerbaijan has launched what it says are “anti-terrorist” operations against the Armenian population. Yerevan will not intervene for now. There are 2 civilian deaths.
Azerbaijan will carry “to the end” the military operation it launched this Tuesday in the Nagorno-Karabakh region. Ilham Aliyev’s presidential administration guarantees that “anti-terrorist” operations will only stop if Armenian forces in the region surrender and hand over their weapons, Al-Jazeera reports. You The attacks of the Azerbaijani army have already caused two deaths and 23 civilians injuredamong them eight children, according to the person responsible for human rights in the region.
Although the Azerbaijani presidential administration guarantees that it is available for talks with the Armenian representatives who control the enclave, Azerbaijan emphasizes that, “for anti-terrorist measures to cease, the illegal Armenian formations must raise the white flag, all weapons and weapons must be handed over. “The illegal regime must be dissolved.” Otherwise, warn Baku, “Anti-terrorist measures will be carried out to the end.”
The Nagorno-Karabakh enclave is part of Azerbaijan but is inhabited by an Armenian population and has been disputed for decades by Armenians and Azeris. In the early hours of Tuesday, a mine explosion in this region killed four Azeri police officers and two civilians. The victims died when the vehicles they were traveling in were hit by mines on the road between Shusha and Fizuli; The two civilians were employees of the Azerbaijan Highway Agency.
Hours after the incident, Azerbaijan decided to intervene militarily, blaming Armenian separatists for the deaths. “Anti-terrorist operations have begun in the region,” the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry said in a statement, cited by the French agency AFP.
Azerbaijan says it is using “high-precision weapons.” Two people died and eight children were injured
The ministry said the positions of Armenian forces were “being disabled with high-precision weapons on the front line and in depth.” An AFP journalist in the region claimed to have heard explosions in Stepanakert, the main city of the South Caucasus enclave.
The capital, Stepanakert, and other cities and towns are under intense fire, the enclave’s pro-Armenian government said, describing Azerbaijan’s actions as the beginning of a “large-scale military offensive.” You The attacks by the Azerbaijani army have already caused two deaths and 23 civilians injured, including eight childrenaccording to the head of human rights in the region, Gegham Stepanyan, cited by Reuters.
The announcement of the Azerbaijani operation comes three years after the start of the previous Nagorno-Karabakh war, in September 2020, which Azerbaijani forces won after six weeks.
Meanwhile, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan assured that the country will not launch military operations in the enclave, ruling out the possibility of a direct conflict with the neighboring country. “Armenia does not participate in military operations and does not have military forces in Nagorno-Karabakh,” Pashinyan said, quoted by the Russian Tass agency, adding that the country “will not take hasty measures.”
Given this position of the Armenian government, hundreds of people began to gather in the center of Yerevan, in protest against the government’s decision not to intervene in Nagorno-Karabakh. Protesters shout “Nikol is a traitor” and “Artsakh,” in reference to the unrecognized Republic of Artsakh, proclaimed by Armenian separatists in 1991, at the time of the dissolution of the Soviet Union. The region’s independence has never been recognized by Azerbaijan, but is supported by Armenia.
— NEXT (@nexta_tv) September 19, 2023
The protesters even managed to invade the Armenian government building, after some tensions with the police forces, reports the RIA agency. The clashes continue.