Fighting erupted anew Sunday between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces over the disputed separatist area of Nagorno-Karabakh, killing 16 folks and wounding greater than 100, a high territorial official stated, whereas Azerbaijan’s president stated his navy has suffered losses.
Armenia additionally claimed that two Azerbaijani helicopters had been shot down and three Azerbaijani tanks had been hit by artillery, however Azerbaijan’s Defence Ministry rejected that declare.
Heavy fighting broke out in the morning in the area that lies inside Azerbaijan however has been beneath the management of ethnic Armenian forces backed by Armenia since 1994 on the finish of a separatist battle. It was not instantly clear what sparked the fighting, the heaviest since clashes in July killed 16 folks from either side.
Nagorno-Karabakh authorities reported that shelling hit the area’s capital of Stepanakert and the cities of Martakert and Martuni. Armenian Defence Ministry spokesperson Artsrun Hovhannisyan additionally stated Azerbaijani shelling hit inside Armenian territory close to the city of Vardenis.
Artur Sarkisian, deputy head of the Nagorno-Karabakh military, stated 16 folks had been killed and greater than 100 wounded. It wasn’t instantly clear if the determine included each troopers and civilians. Earlier, the Armenian human rights ombudsman stated a lady and little one had been killed in the shelling.
Claims of two helicopters shot down
Another Armenian Defence Ministry spokesperson, Shushan Stepanyan, stated “the Armenian side” shot down two helicopters and hit three tanks.
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev ordered martial regulation be imposed in some areas of the nation and known as for a curfew in main cities.
In a televised handle to the nation, Aliyev stated that “there are losses among the Azerbaijani forces and the civilian population as a result of the Armenian bombardment,” however he did not give additional particulars. He additionally claimed that “many units of the enemy’s military equipment have been destroyed.”
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov “is conducting intensive contacts in order to induce the parties to ceasefire and start negotiations to stabilize the situation,” ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova stated.
Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama, chair of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, known as on the edges to cease fighting. The long-unsuccessful negotiations for resolving the territory’s standing has been carried out beneath OSCE auspices.
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian on Sunday stated the nation might re-examine whether or not to acknowledge Nagorno-Karabakh as impartial. Such a transfer would seemingly impede additional negotiations.
Pashinian additionally stated his nation has declared martial regulation and whole navy mobilization following the clashes.
Turkey condemns ‘provocation’
News of the fighting was harshly obtained in Turkey, a detailed ally of Azerbaijan.
Turkey’s ruling occasion spokesperson Omer Celik tweeted: “We vehemently condemn Armenia’s attack on Azerbaijan. Armenia has once again committed a provocation, ignoring law.” He promised Turkey would stand by Azerbaijan and stated, “Armenia is playing with fire and endangering regional peace.”
Turkish presidential spokesperson Ibrahim Kalin additionally condemned Armenia.
“Armenia has violated the ceasefire by attacking civilian settlements … the international community must immediately say stop to this dangerous provocation,” Kalin tweeted.
Mostly mountainous Nagorno-Karabakh — a area of some 4,400 sq. kilometres, or concerning the dimension of the U.S. state of Delaware — lies 50 kilometres from the Armenian border. Local troopers backed by Armenia additionally occupy some Azerbaijani territory outdoors the area.
“France is extremely concerned by the confrontation,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Agnes bon der Muhll stated in an announcement. Along with the United States and Russia, France is co-president of the Minsk group, which mediates between each Armenia and Azerbaijan.
At the Vatican, Pope Francis stated Sunday that he was praying for peace between the 2 nations, urging them to “accomplish concrete deeds of goodwill and fraternity” to achieve a peaceable resolution by means of dialogue.
Iran known as on Sunday for an fast finish to the battle, a Foreign Ministry spokesperson was quoted as saying by state TV, saying Tehran’s readiness to assist in establishing a ceasefire.
“Iran is closely monitoring the conflict with concern and calls for an immediate end to the conflict and the start of talks between the two countries,” Saeed Khatibzadeh stated.
“Tehran is ready to use all its capacities to help talks to start between the two sides.”