The Armenian government has imposed a martial law and declared a mass mobilization amid large-scale clashes with Azerbaijan in the contested Nagorno-Karabakh region.
Hostilities between the sides broke out early on September 27. According to the Armenian government, Azerbaijan launched “an offensive” against the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (also known as the Republic of Artsakh).
HINT: The Nagorno-Karabakh Republic a de facto independent state with an Armenian ethnic majority established on the basis of the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast of the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic as a result of the Nagorno-Karabakh War (February 1988 – May 1994). This territory is de-facto controlled by Armenia, while Azerbaijan still seeks to restore control over the region.
While clashes have been ongoing, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan claimed that Nagorno-Karabakh forces “successfully repel the attack” and the situation is under control.
Burning equipment of Azerbaijani forces:
The Armenian government and media say that the escalation started with a massive artillery strike by the Azerbaijani Armed Forces on settlements in the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, including its capital Stepanakert (the population is about 55,000).
The situation in Stepanakert:
В сети появилось видео последствий обстрела жилых районов Степанакерта в Нагорном Карабахе. На кадрах показаны полуразрушенные квартиры и трещины в домах. pic.twitter.com/lN3GAJV5Fk
— ИНЖЕНЕР-ЭНЕРГЕТИК 08 (@Sergey_taxi) September 27, 2020
The republic’s authorities alredy confirmed that at least 10 of its troops were killed. The Armenian side also reported multiple civilian casualties as a result of actions of Azerbaijan.
The town of Varedins, inside Armenia, also came under Azerbaijani strikes, according to the Armenian Defense Ministry.
Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry said the military launched “a counteroffensive operation along the entire front” to protect civilians and contain Armenian forces that allegedly violated ceasefire. The operation involves infantry and armored units supported by the air force.
The Turkish Foreign Ministry already declared its full support to Azerbaijan, accused Armenia of violating the international law.
“Ankara strongly and fully supports Baku’s position. Turkey will provide assistance to Azerbaijan in the form that the Azerbaijani side needs,” Hami Aksoy, a spokesman for the Turkish Foreign Ministry, said.
Meanwhile, the United States, which under the pro-US government of Pashinyan allegedly became Armenia’s ‘strategic partner’, is not hurrying up to declare its support to Armenia and propose it any diplomatic or military support. Instead, Russia as always remains the only power that can save the ‘democratic government’ of Erevan from the expected military defeat in an open conflict against the Azerbaijani-Turkish bloc.
UPDATE: Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov discussed the situation during a phone call with Armenian Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan. According to the Russian side, Lavrov expressed serious concern about the ongoing hostilities and reports of the killed and wounded, and emphasized the need to restore the ceasefire.
Armenian forces destroy Azerbaijani military equipment:
Both sides are now actively deploying military equipment and troops to the frontline claiming that they are delivering painful strikes to the enemy. Armenians claim that Azerbaijan lost at least 3 battle tanks, 6 trucks and armoured vehicles and a Mi-35 helicopter. At the same time, Azerbaijani sources claim that Azerbaijani forces destroyed at least 5 battle tanks, up to 10 air defense systems (Soviet Osa systems), 3 armoured vehicles, and struck multiple Armenian artillery positions and military HQs. All these claims are yet to be confirmed.
Just a few days ago, reports appeared that Turkey was redeploying members of Turkish-backed Syrian militant groups from Syria to Azerbaijan. These militants, if they are really deployed, will likely participate in the Azerbaijani attack on Armenian forces.
The region is once again balancing on the brink of a new full-scale war.
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