Nagorno-Karabakh: Fears of full-scale war as Azerbaijan launches attack on Armenian positions | EUROtoday

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Azerbaijan has launched what it has known as an “anti-terrorist operation” focusing on Armenian navy positions within the breakaway area of Nagorno-Karabakh, as heavy artillery firing was reported round its capital.

The Azerbaijani defence ministry introduced the beginning of the operation hours after 4 troopers and two civilians died in landmine explosions within the Nagorno-Karabakh area.

It raises considerations {that a} full-scale war over the area may resume between Azerbaijan and Armenia, which fought closely for six weeks in 2020.

The ministry didn’t instantly give particulars however mentioned “positions on the front line and in-depth, long-term firing points of the formations of Armenia’s armed forces, as well as combat assets and military facilities, are incapacitated using high-precision weapons”.

The Azerbaijani assertion mentioned: “Only legitimate military targets are being incapacitated.”

But ethnic Armenian officers in Nagorno-Karabakh mentioned the area’s capital Stepanakert and different villages are “under intense shelling”.

Smoke rises over an space which Azerbaijan says hosts Armenian forces’ place


Earlier on Tuesday, Azerbaijan mentioned six folks died in two separate explosions within the area, which is partly underneath the management of ethnic Armenian forces.

An announcement from Azerbaijan‘s inside ministry, state safety service and prosecutor-general mentioned two staff of the highways division died earlier than daybreak when their automobile was blown up by a mine and {that a} truckload of troopers responding to the incident hit one other mine, killing 4.

Nagorno-Karabakh and sizeable surrounding territories had been underneath ethnic Armenian management for the reason that 1994 finish of a separatist war, however Azerbaijan regained the territories and components of Nagorno-Karabakh itself in a six-week war in 2020.

That war ended with an armistice which positioned a Russian peacekeeper contingent in Nagorno-Karabakh.

But Azerbaijan alleges that Armenia has smuggled in weapons since then.

Azerbaijan’s president Ilham Aliyev

(AFP by way of Getty Images)

The claims led to a blockade of the street connecting Nagorno-Karabakh to Armenia, inflicting extreme meals and medication shortages within the area.

Red Cross shipments of flour and medical provides reached Nagorno-Karabakh on Monday however native officers mentioned street connections to the area weren’t absolutely open.

The hostilities come amid excessive tensions between Armenia and its longtime ally Russia.

Armenia has repeatedly complained that the three,000-strong Russian peacekeeping power was unable or unwilling to maintain the street to Armenia open regardless that that responsibility was stipulated within the settlement that ended the 2020 war.

Armenia additionally angered Russia, which maintains a navy base within the nation, by holding navy workout routines with the United States this month and by shifting towards ratifying the Rome Convention that created the International Criminal Court, which has indicted Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Russian international ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova on Tuesday denied claims that Russia was knowledgeable upfront of Azerbaijan‘s intention to mount the operation, saying the peacekeepers had been notified solely “a few minutes” earlier than it started.

Reporting by Associated Press.