Azerbaijan, Armenia on War Footing After Casualties in Heavy Fighting

Baku and Yerevan put themselves on a war footing after heavy fighting erupted Sunday between Azerbaijan and Armenian separatists, claiming military and civilian casualties on both sides, including at least one child.

The worst clashes since 2016 have raised the spectre of a fresh war between arch enemies Azerbaijan and Armenia which have been locked for decades in a territorial dispute over the Armenia-backed breakaway region of Nagorny Karabakh.

A major confrontation between the ex-Soviet Caucasus neighbors would draw in big regional players Moscow and Ankara.

Russia, France, Germany and the EU swiftly urged an “immediate ceasefire,” while Pope Francis prayed for peace.

The Armenian defense ministry spokesman, Artsrun Hovhannisyan, said intense fighting continued along the Karabakh frontline Sunday afternoon.

Azerbaijan said it had captured seven of its Armenian-controlled villages, a claim Yerevan denied.

‘Sacred homeland’

In a televised address to the nation earlier in the day, Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev vowed victory over Armenian forces.

“Our cause is just and we will win,” Aliyev said, repeating a famous quote from Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin’s address at the outbreak of World War II in Russia.

“Karabakh is Azerbaijan,” he said.  

Both Armenia and the breakaway region of Nagorny Karabakh declared martial law and military mobilization.

“Get ready to defend our sacred homeland,” Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said on Facebook.

Armenia said earlier Sunday that Azerbaijan attacked civilian settlements in Nagorny Karabakh including the main city Stepanakert.

Azerbaijan accused Armenian forces of violating a ceasefire, saying it had launched a counter-offensive to “ensure the safety of the population”, using tanks, artillery missiles, combat aviation and drones.

“There are reports of dead and wounded among civilians and military servicemen,” Azerbaijan’s foreign ministry said. “Extensive damage has been inflicted on many homes and civilian infrastructure.”

Karabakh’s rights ombudsman Artak Beglaryan pointed to “civilian casualties,” while Armenia said a woman and child were killed.

Russia, EU urge ceasefire 

Ethnic Armenian separatists seized the Nagorny Karabakh region from Baku in a 1990s war that claimed 30,000 lives.

Talks to resolve one of the worst conflicts to emerge from the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union have been largely stalled since a 1994 ceasefire agreement.

France, Russia and the United States have mediated peace efforts as the “Minsk Group” but the last big push for a peace deal collapsed in 2010.

Azerbaijan’s ally Turkey blamed Yerevan for the flare-up and promised Baku its “full support”.

“We strongly condemn the attack by Armenia against Azerbaijan,” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said on Twitter.

Russia’s Lavrov spoke with his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu, Moscow said, stressing “the need to halt fire as soon as possible”.

The two discussed “Armenia’s aggression”, a Turkish diplomatic source said.

Pope Francis told crowds on Saint Peter’s Square he was praying for peace and called for “concrete gestures of good will and fraternity” from the warring sides.

Political observers said global powers should intensify talks to stop the conflict.

“We are a step away from a large-scale war,” Olesya Vartanyan of the International Crisis Group told AFP.

“One of the main reasons for the current escalation is a lack of any proactive international mediation between the sides for weeks,” she added.

“War is resuming. Time for Russia, France and U.S, individually and jointly, to stop it,” tweeted Dmitry Trenin, director of the Carnegie Moscow Centre.

‘Turkish mercenaries’ –

Karabakh separatist leader, Arayik Harutyunyan, accused Ankara of sending mercenaries to Azerbaijan.

“We have information that mercenaries from Turkey and other countries were airlifted to Azerbaijan,” he said.

“The Turkish army is already in Azerbaijan, under the guise of military drills,” he claimed.

On Sunday morning, Azerbaijan started “active bombing” along Karabakh’s frontline including civilian targets and in the main city Stepanakert, Karabakh’s presidency said.

The rebel defense ministry said its troops shot down four Azerbaijani helicopters and 15 drones, while Baku denied the claims.

On Friday, Aliyev accused Armenia of undermining Karabakh peace talks.

In July, heavy clashes along the two countries’ shared border — hundreds of kilometres from Karabakh — claimed the lives of at least 17 soldiers from both sides.

Raising the stakes, Azerbaijan at the time threatened to strike Armenia’s atomic power station if Yerevan attacked strategic facilities.

During the worst recent clashes in April 2016, around 110 people were killed.

(c) The Moscow Times

19 comments

  • Russia’s Lavrov spoke with his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu, Moscow said, stressing “the need to halt fire as soon as possible”.

    Really Lavrov! Perhaps you could explain this then?

    https://eurasianet.org/aliyev-airs-grievances-to-putin-over-arms-shipments-to-armenia

    Liked by 4 people

  • ATHENS, (BM) – Russia has the most modern weapons in Armenia to thwart the ambitious plans of Turkey and Azerbaijan, while Ankara has managed to open a new front in the post-Mediterranean region, learned BulgarianMilitary.com.

    According to Pentapostagma, since mid-July, Russian transport planes have made a number of covert flights to Armenia, carrying about 400 tonnes of military cargo, as reported.

    According to the data, we are talking about modern weapons, including air defense systems, radar for short, medium and long range, electronic suppression systems, long-range artillery systems, including the S-300 air defense system.

    During a telephone conversation with Russian leader Vladimir Putin on August 12, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev raised the issue of deliveries of more than 400 tons of military cargo, which have been carried out in Armenia since July 17.

    He refers to a statement issued by the press service of the President of Azerbaijan:

    “After the clashes on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border, more than 400 tonnes of military cargo were delivered from Russia through the airspace of Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Iran to Armenia. The main purpose of the talks with Putin was to clarify the issue,” he said in a statement.

    “In particular, Aliyev said that since July 17 there have been intensive military deliveries from Russia to Armenia and this issue raises serious concerns in Azerbaijan,” EA Daily reported.

    Russian experts, for their part, draw attention to the fact that Armenia, unlike Azerbaijan, is a member of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO). Azerbaijan is in conflict with Russia and other CSTO members).

    BM In-Article Ad
    As a member of the CSTO, Armenia will receive all necessary assistance, including heavy weapons. In this context, the claims of the Azeris are completely unfounded, especially in the context of the ongoing attacks on Armenia.

    It is known that the Turkish officers lead the Azeris and are inside the general headquarters of the country.

    Also under the pretext of conducting joint exercises, Turkey may transfer its weapons systems to the country and make them available to the Azerbaijani army. This fact clearly angered Moscow, and the response was not long in coming.

    There is also unconfirmed information about the transfer of a Turkish special forces unit to Armenia, a country he apparently wants to subordinate to his plans.

    The establishment of a Turkish base in Nakhichevan, an autonomous province of Azeri, is likely Ankara’s next step in escalating the situation on the “ribs” of the Caucasus as Chechen “friends” lurk for a new uprising against Russia.

    Nagorno-Karabakh conflict
    Azerbaijan and Armenia have been in conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh since February 1988, when the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region announced its withdrawal from the Azerbaijan SSR.

    During the armed conflict in 1992-1994, the Azerbaijani side lost control of Nagorno-Karabakh and the seven areas adjacent to it. Since 1992, negotiations have been conducted within the framework of the OSCE Minsk Group on a peaceful settlement of the conflict. The group is led by co-chairs – Russia, USA and France.

    In 1994, Azerbaijan, Armenia and the unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, through the mediation of Russia, signed the Bishkek Armistice Protocol. At the same time, military operations did not stop there, which periodically renewed.

    The most significant exacerbation of the conflict was the four-day war of 2016. Then hundreds of soldiers on both sides became victims.

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, during a meeting with the President of Azerbaijan last year, called for a rhetoric that would go against the fundamental principles endorsed by both sides and enshrined in the UN Charter and the Helsinki Final Act when resolving the situation around Nagorno-Karabakh.

    At the same time, the head of the Russian Foreign Ministry admitted that much more needs to be done to achieve a long-term political settlement.

    BULGARIAN MILITAIRY.COM 15-8-2020

    Liked by 4 people

  • Read that article above. Also this war is a production from Mordor.

    Liked by 5 people

  • Another war in which mafia land has something to do with, directly or indirectly.

    Liked by 4 people

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