Friday, September 22, 2023

Azerbaijan launches offensive in Karabakh and calls on Armenians to capitulate

Azerbaijan launched a military operation in Nagorno-Karabakh on Tuesday, three years after the previous war, demanding the surrender of its Armenian adversary in this region disputed with Armenia for decades.

The presidency of Azerbaijan earlier in the afternoon asked the Armenian separatist forces in Karabakh to hand over their weapons, on the condition that they sine qua non for the start of negotiations.

The illegal Armenian armed forces must raise the white flag, hand over all weapons and the illegal regime must be dissolved. Otherwise, anti-terrorist operations will continue to the end.he declared, echoing Azerbaijani diplomacy demanding surrender. total and unconditional.

The Presidency proposed, in the event of capitulation, talks with representatives of the Karabakh Armenian population in Yevlakhan Azerbaijani city located 295 km west of Baku.

Before that, Karabakh authorities had called for an immediate ceasefire and negotiations.

25 dead, including two civilians

The fighting left at least 25 dead, including two civilians, in this region. According to the Armenian separatist authorities, the population of six towns was evacuated.

For its part, Azerbaijan announced the death of a civilian, murdered by shrapnel after an attack by the Armenian armed forces.

Separatists say several cities in Nagorno-Karabakh, including its capital Stepanakert, are targeted. intensive shootingwhich also target civil infrastructure.

Clashes occur along the entire line of contact of this territory and the Azerbaijanis resort toartilleryrockets, attack drones, fighter planes, the separatist army stated.

Armenian diplomacy denounced a large scale assault with the purpose of ethnic cleansing.

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He also ruled that Russia, guarantor of a ceasefire dating back to 2020 with peacekeepers on the ground, should stop Azerbaijani aggression.

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Footage released by Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry shows the shelling of a suspected Armenian position.


Armenia said it had no troops in Karabakh, suggesting separatist forces were alone against Azerbaijani soldiers.

In Baku, the Ministry of Defense announced in the morning the activation ofanti-terrorist operations following the death of six Azerbaijanis – including four police officers – in a mine explosion at the site of a tunnel under construction between Shusha and Fizuli, two towns in Nagorno Karabakh under Azerbaijani control.

Azerbaijan’s security services believe that a group of spoilers Armenian separatists planted these explosive devices.

The inaction of the international community to reach a lasting peace agreement in Nagorno-Karabakh is at the root of the Azerbaijani offensive, Armenian separatists have declared.

Stable situation on the border

Tensions have been worsening for months around this secessionist territory of Azerbaijan, populated mainly by Armenians, which has already been the center of two wars between Yerevan and Baku. The first lasted from 1988 to 1994, the one in the fall of 2000 ended after six weeks.

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian, for his part, accused the Azerbaijanis of wanting drag Armenia into hostilities.

The situation on the border between Armenia and Azerbaijan is currently stableHe clarified however.

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Soldiers At A Border Post.

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Border post in Nagorno Karabakh guarded by Azerbaijani soldiers. (File photo)

Photo: afp via getty images / TOFIK BABAYEV

Pashinian, who convened his Security Council, also denounced calls for a coup in Armenia, where clashes broke out between protesters calling him traitor and demanding his resignation from the police in front of the government headquarters.

The Armenian opposition has repeatedly tried over the past three years to force out the Armenian prime minister, accusing him of being responsible for the military defeat in the 2020 war in Nagorno-Karabakh.

Dozens of protesters also gathered in front of the Russian embassy in Yerevan, denouncing this country’s inaction to prevent the Azerbaijani armed offensive.

Baku specified that it had informed Russia so much of its operations – that it later assured that it had only been warned a few minutes before its beginning – and Türkiye.

The Kremlin, concernedhe said through his spokesperson trying to convince Armenia and Azerbaijan to return. at the negotiating tablewhile the Russian peacekeeping mission in the disputed territory has called for a ceasefire immediate.

As for Turkey, which described legitimate concerns of having led Azerbaijan to embark on military action, also urged, at the same time, Continuation of the negotiation process between Azerbaijan and Armenia..

Inadmissiblefor France and the United States

Nikol Pashinian did not report conversations with Vladimir Putin, but he had two telephone conversations with French President Emmanuel Macron and the head of American diplomacy, Antony Blinken, all three judging the use of force. inadmissibleaccording to the Prime Minister’s spokesperson.

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Paris requested a meeting of the United Nations Security Council and judged illegal, unjustifiable, unacceptable the Azerbaijani attack.

Baku responded by punishing France’s Islamophobic and anti-Azerbaijani policy and its unacceptable interference in our internal affairs.

The President of the European Council, Charles Michel, who has mediated between the two countries in the past, considered that Azerbaijan should immediately cease its operation.

A Residential Building Damaged By An Explosion.

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A residential building damaged by shelling in Stepanakert, Nagorno-Karabakh, on September 19. Azerbaijan described its military intervention as an “anti-terrorist operation.”

Photo: AP / Siranush Sargsyan

Baku also accused the Armenian army of having wounded two Azerbaijani soldiers in the northeast of Nagorno-Karabakh and of having fired small arms at Azerbaijani positions in the Gadabay district, on the border between the two countries.

However, tensions had eased somewhat on Monday with the arrival of humanitarian aid to the enclave, which has been under an Azerbaijani blockade for months that has caused serious shortages of food and medicine.

Yerevan accuses Baku of provoking a humanitarian crisis for the purposes of ethnic cleansing by blocking the Lachin corridor, the only road linking Nagorno-Karabakh with Armenia.

The 2020 conflict resulted in an Armenian military defeat, with Yerevan having to cede territories in and around Nagorno-Karabakh.

A ceasefire, brokered by Russia, was signed without ever leading to a peace agreement.

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