The Ministry of Defense of Azerbaijan announced this Tuesday, September 19, the start of what it called an “anti-terrorist operation” against Armenian military positions in the separatist region of Nagorno Karabakh, disputed by Armenians and Azeris. Russia called on both sides to stop hostilities, as fears grow of a new large-scale conflict in the region after the bloody 2020 war.
Nagorno-Karabakh’s capital, Stepanakert, and other villages are “under intense shelling.” This was stated by ethnic Armenian officials in the separatist region on September 19.
His statements come shortly after Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry reported that it launched an armed offensive in Nagorno-Karabakh, an action it described as a “anti-terrorist operation.”
Baku claimed it was only attacking “legitimate military targets.” However, ethnic Armenian officials in Nagorno-Karabakh say Azerbaijani troops are trying to advance deep into the territory of the ethnic Armenian-controlled mountainous enclave, but that the Azerbaijanis are finding a “resolved” resistance.
Armenia called on Russian peacekeepers deployed in Nagorno-Karabakh to “take clear and unequivocal measures” to end “Azerbaijan’s aggression” against this territory.
Nagorno Karabakh is a separatist region, recognized in the world as the territory of Azerbaijan, but with a majority Armenian population, which for more than a century has resisted Azerbaijani control. In 1991 it declared its independence and since then it has had an autonomous government and has the political, economic and military support of Armenia. It calls itself the Republic of Artsakh.
With Reuters and AP
Source: France 24