You are here: Home » International » News » Others
Business Standard

Nagorno-Karabakh: Armenia, Azerbaijan blame each other for truce violations

The fighting and shelling has killed hundreds of people - both combatants and civilians - and marks the biggest escalation of a decades-old conflict over the region in more than a quarter-century

Topics
Armenia | Azerbaijan | ceasefire violations

AP  |  Yerevan (Armenia) 

armenia, Nagorno-Karabakh, Azerbaijan
Vesile Mehmedova sits in front of debris of her brother's home as her relatives search for belongings, at a blast site hit by a rocket during the fighting over the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh in the city of Ganja

Despite a second attempt at a cease-fire, and traded accusations Sunday of violating the new truce in their destructive conflict over the separatist region of Nagorno-Karabakh.

The latest truce, which was announced Saturday and took force at midnight, was the second attempt to establish a cease-fire since heavy fighting between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces broke out in Nagorno-Karabakh on Sept 27.

The fighting and shelling has killed hundreds of people — both combatants and civilians — and marks the biggest escalation of a decades-old conflict over the region in more than a quarter-century.

The fighting, involving heavy artillery, rockets and drones, has continued despite repeated calls for cessation of hostilities coming from around the globe. It also raises the specter of a wider conflict that could draw in Russia and Turkey and threaten Caspian Sea energy exports.

Armenian military officials on Sunday reported artillery shelling and missile strikes by Azerbaijani forces in the conflict zone overnight. In the morning, “the enemy launched an attack in the southern direction," and there were “casualties and wounded on both sides," Armenian Defense Ministry spokeswoman Shushan Stepanian said.

Azerbaijan's Defense Ministry, in turn, maintained that Armenian forces used mortars and artillery in the conflict zone overnight despite the cease-fire and in the morning attempted attacks in several directions.

The ministry accused of using large-caliber weapons to attack the positions of the Azerbaijani army in two regions north of Nagorno-Karabakh along the border, a claim Armenian military officials denied.

The Azerbaijani military also said it downed an Armenian Su-25 warplane “attempting to inflict airstrikes on the positions of the army in the Jabrayil direction,” but Stepanian dismissed the statement as untrue.

Nagorno-Karabakh lies within but has been under the control of ethnic Armenian forces backed by since a war there ended in 1994.

According to Nagorno-Karabakh officials, 673 of their servicemen have been killed in the renewed fighting. Azerbaijan hasn't disclosed its military losses, but says 60 civilians have died so far and 270 have been wounded.

Turkey has publicly backed oil-rich Azerbaijan in the conflict and vowed to help it reclaim its territory.

Russia, which has a security pact with Armenia but has cultivated warm ties with Azerbaijan, hosted top diplomats from both countries last week for more than 10 hours of talks that ended with the initial cease-fire agreement. But the deal frayed immediately after the truce took effect last Saturday, with both sides blaming each other for breaching it.

The new cease-fire agreement was announced a week later on Saturday, following Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov's calls with his counterparts from Armenia and Azerbaijan, in which he strongly urged them to abide by the Moscow deal.

But several hours after the truce took force at midnight, both sides started accusing each other of breaching the agreement.

Later Sunday, Armenia and Azerbaijan reiterated their commitments to the cease-fire in statements issued by their foreign ministries, and laid the blame for the breaches on each other.

Azerbaijan “reserves its right to take counter measures to protect its civilians and positions,” the country's Foreign Ministry said.

Yerevan “will continue to undertake all necessary measures to impose peace on Azerbaijan and establish a cease-fire regime which will entail precise and effective mechanisms for maintaining and verifying it," Armenian Foreign Ministry said.

Dear Reader,


Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

First Published: Sun, October 18 2020. 20:44 IST
RECOMMENDED FOR YOU
.