Heavy clashes continue between Azerbaijan and Armenia.
Image Credit: AFP
The battle between Azerbaijan and Armenia continued for the second day, over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh. Yesterday, after the downing of an Azerbaijani helicopter by Armenia, and a counterattack by Azerbaijan, both countries immobilized their armies, and declared a state of war.
The Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said ‘We stay strong next to our army to protect our motherland from Azeri invasion.’ Azerbaijan accused Armenia of launching targeted attacks along the front line. Azerbaijan’s President Illham Aliyev said ‘We defend our territory, our cause is right. Karabakh is Azerbaijan.’
Tensions continued to escalate, when Armenia said it is ready to defend its land, while Azerbaijan said it is ready to take the land by force if required. The region of Nagorno-Karabakh is an enclave in Azerbaijan, but controlled by Armenians. Both countries made claim for the region, and was the root of most of their border clashes in the last 2 decades.
Recently, Azerbaijan claimed that it captured a strategic mountain, that will help it controlling transport communications between Yerevan and Nagorno-Karabakh. The heavy clashes prompted some countries to try to de-escalate the situation. Olesya Vartanyan of the International Crisis Group told to AFP
‘We are a step away from large-scale war.’
She continued that ‘One of the main reasons for the current escalation is a lack of any proactive international mediation between the sides for weeks.’ US President Donald Trump urged both countries to stop fighting.
Turkey, a close ally of Azerbaijan is communicating with members of the Minsk group. The latter is a group that mediates between Azerbaijan and Armenia. The group’s co-presidents are France, Russia and United States. The European Union also urged both sides to end all violence.
Nagorno-karabakh defense officials claimed that 15 military soldiers died on Monday overnight. This brings the number of deaths since clashes began to 32.