April 16, 2024

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Azerbaijan launches offensive, Armenia condemns “occupation” for purposes of “ethnic cleansing”

Azerbaijan launches offensive, Armenia condemns “occupation” for purposes of “ethnic cleansing”

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Baku said it would launch “anti-terrorist operations” against the enclave. According to Armenian separatist officials, the capital Stephankert and other cities in the region are being targeted by “intense fire”.

Nagorno-Karabakh again under Azerbaijani bombs. Stephanakert, the capital of the separatist region, and other cities in the region “Extreme shooting», local authorities announced on Tuesday. “Azerbaijan launched a large-scale military operation against the Republic of Artsakh (the name given by the Armenians to Nagorno-Karabakh, editor’s note).», the representation of the separatists in Armenia pointed out on Facebook. Armenian diplomacy, for its part, condemned “A new large-scale aggression against the people of Nagorno-Karabakh seeks to end its policy of ethnic cleansing».

“Anti-terrorist measures”, Pakistan promises

Azerbaijan announced the launch of “Anti-terrorist measures» Explosions were heard by a journalist in Stepanakert, targeting Armenian forces in territory disputed by Armenians and Azerbaijanis. The announcement comes three years after the previous Karabakh war began in September 2020, a conflict that was won by Azerbaijani forces after six weeks. “Anti-terror operations have begun in the area. As part of these operations, the positions of the Armenian Armed Forces (…) in the front line and in depth are rendered harmless using high-precision weapons.“, the Ministry of Defense of Azerbaijan said in a statement. According to the separatist forces, who claim to oppose “Along the entire line of contact, the Azerbaijani army is trying to advance “in depth”.».

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Dissolution of the separatist regime demanded by Baku

«The only way to achieve peace and stability in the region is the unconditional and complete withdrawal of the Armenian armed forces from the Azerbaijani Karabakh region and the dissolution of the so-called regime.» Separatist, Azerbaijani diplomacy pointed out in a press release.

According to Yerevan, there is no Armenian army at the site

The Armenian prime minister denied Baku’s claims. “Azerbaijan launched a ground operation aimed at ethnic cleansing of Karabakh Armenians“, Nikol Pashinyan said in a televised statement, assuring that the situation on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border on the other hand,”stable» and Armenia “NoNot involved in armed activitiesNikol Pashinian called on Russia and the UN to “take action” against the move.

Moscow warned at the last minute

Azerbaijan said it informed Russia and Turkey about its activity in Karabakh. Moscow, however, only indicated that it had warned “A few minutes» Before operations begin. Armenia calls on Russian peacekeepers stationed in the region “Stop the invasion».

Baku justified its military action by detonating road mines in Nagorno-Karabakh that killed four police officers and two civilians, accusing the disputed region’s Armenian separatists of carrying out the actions.Terrorism“. Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry said it would set up humanitarian corridors to allow the evacuation of civilians from Nagorno-Karabakh.

One of the most cut-off regions of the former Soviet Union

Nagorno-Karabakh, the scene of two wars between Armenia and Azerbaijan in the early 1990s and again in the fall of 2020, is one of the most cut-off regions in the former Soviet Union. There are frequent explosions and casualties. Located in Azerbaijan, this Armenian-majority mountain region declared independence from Baku during the collapse of the Soviet Union, leading to an armed conflict in which the separatists, backed by Yerevan, won.

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But 30 years later, in the fall of 2020, the Azerbaijani Armed Forces got their revenge and recaptured significant territories in and around the region. The war ended after the mediation of Vladimir Putin and the deployment of Russian peacekeepers. But ceasefires are always fragile and punctuated by armed incidents.

Azerbaijan has accused it of causing a humanitarian crisis

The new incidents come as Yerevan accuses Baku of causing the Nagorno-Karabakh humanitarian crisis by blocking the Lachin Corridor, the only road between Armenia and the mountainous region, since late 2022. Armenia also criticizes Russia for its inaction. Baku, with the support of Turkey and its oil pipeline, has built a more powerful military than its Armenian neighbor.

Paris has called for an “urgent” meeting of the UN Security Council

Condemnation of France”With great determination» Azerbaijan to start a military operation in Nagorno-Karabakh and demanded “Emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council».

The European Union, through the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, called on Azerbaijan to stop “Immediately» Its activity will allow a real dialogue between Baku and Karabakh Armenians. “This military escalation should not be used as an excuse to deport the local population», announced Joseph Borrell, Head of European Diplomacy.