On Tuesday, Nagorno-Karabakh authorities accused Baku of launching a “large-scale military offensive” against the enclave, which belongs to Azerbaijan but is populated by Armenians. “At the moment, the capital Stephanakert and other cities and plains are under massive artillery bombardment,” said the statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Karabakh. For its part, Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry announced the launch of an “anti-terrorist operation” in the region, following two landmine explosions and a small arms and mortar attack that Baku attributed to Armenia.
“Local anti-terrorist operations have started in the region,” the military department said in a statement. Azerbaijan said the operation was aimed at “guaranteeing the fulfillment of the provisions of the Tripartite Declaration between Azerbaijan, Armenia and Russia” that ended the 2020 war, during which Baku regained much of the territory lost in the first conflict in the mountainous region. Karabagh.
Azerbaijan noted that the “anti-terrorist actions” are aimed at “expelling Armenian armed formations” from the territories of Azerbaijan, “neutralizing its military infrastructure, ensuring the safety of the civilian population” and restoring constitutional order.
Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry announced the launch of the operation after two landmine explosions in the Karabakh region killed six Azerbaijanis – two civilians and four policemen – as well as mortar and small arms attacks. The region from Aghdami, where the Russian peacekeeping contingent is located.
Baku blamed the incidents on “a subversive group of illegal Armenian military formations” and opened a criminal case for terrorism, premeditated murder based on ethnic hatred, and illegal possession of weapons and explosives.
Nagorno-Karabakh, which was declared independent in 1991, has since become a source of conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan, which have fought two wars, one in the early 1990s that ended with an Armenian victory, and another in 2020 in which the Azerbaijanis.
According to international law, the territory belongs to Azerbaijan, but ethnic Armenians live there. As a result of the recent 44-day war, Baku recaptured more than two-thirds of the territory declared by Yerevan as a security zone in and around the mountainous region, although Armenia had to maintain communication with the enclave through the corridor. Lachine, blocked by Azerbaijan for nine months.
Tensions between Azerbaijan and Armenia have risen in recent days, amid reports of troop movements on both sides and threats to scrap a Russian-brokered ceasefire in 2020.
Source: El Diario