Azeris and Armenians Fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh, as Russia Urges Ceasefire
Sept. 27, 2020 (EIRNS)—Fighting broke out early this morning between the forces of Azerbaijan and Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh, the enclave in Azerbaijan claimed by Armenia, with each side blaming the other for instigating the hostilities; the president of the unrecognized breakaway republic of Artsakh (Karabakh) has declared martial law. Later, Azerbaijan’s parliament voted for martial law in several cities, to take effect on Sept. 28, and now Armenia has declared martial law. The Armenian Defense Ministry said that Armenian forces shot down two Azeri helicopters and hit three tanks, while Azerbaijan said that Armenian forces were shelling Azeri settlements. The Russian Foreign Ministry issued a call for an immediate ceasefire between the two neighbors and the start of negotiations. Russia is part of the mediation group of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE),
Sputnik reported today, “Azerbaijan and Armenia have clashed over control of the Nagorno-Karabakh region since the early 1990s. Since the end of the Nagorno-Karabakh War in 1994, representatives of the governments of Armenia and Azerbaijan have been holding peace talks mediated by the OSCE Minsk Group on the region’s disputed status.”
Armenia has appealed to the European Court of Human Rights in an attempt to halt Azerbaijani attacks.. Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan made a dire appeal to the international community to use its leverage to deter the involvement of Turkey in the clashes, expressing his fear that it could quickly escalate out of control and beyond the current conflict. He also put in a call to President Vladimir Putin to discuss the situation. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has said that Tehran is ready to mediate talks between Armenia and Azerbaijan, both of which it borders.
Disregarding Armenia’s plea for restraint, and ignoring Russia’s urging for a de-escalation of tensions and a ceasefire, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev, to convey Turkey’s full support for Azerbaijan against “Armenian aggression.”
In both capital cities Yerevan in Armenia and Baku, Azerbaijan, volunteers are swarming to participate in military action, although Azerbaijan has asserted that its army is “fully staffed,” and has no need to mobilize. Armenia has begun deploying Smerch multiple-launch rocket systems to the border region of the conflict.
Sputnik also reports, “The general secretary of the Council of Europe, Marija Pejcinovic-Buric, has called for all parties in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict to bring the renewed hostilities to an immediate end, according to a statement published on Sunday.”
Turkish and Russian Foreign Ministers Mevlut Cavusoglu and Sergey Lavrov, respectively, have been in intensive discussions to help resolve the conflict, and Lavrov has repeatedly and strongly exhorted an immediate ceasefire, and urged to allow negotiations for a peaceful resolution to take place, and so prevent further escalations.