Azerbaijan’s defence ministry on Tuesday announced that it has begun anti-terrorism operations in Armenia-controlled parts of Nagorno-Karabakh.
Azerbaijan said it informed Russia and Turkey about military activities it was carrying out in Karabakh as part of “anti-terrorist operations” in the Armenian-populated breakaway region.
Azerbaijan said that Russia and Turkey were informed about the military activities it was carrying out in Karabakh. “The command of the peacekeeping contingent of the Russian Federation and the leadership of the Turkish-Russian Monitoring Center were informed about the activities being carried out,” Azerbaijan’s defence ministry said.
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“Anti-terrorist operations in the region of a local character have begun,” Baku’s defence ministry said, according to news agency AFP. The Azeri defence ministry said that it is using “high-precision weapons on the front line and in depth” as part of the operations.
The AFP also said that blasts were heard from the separatist stronghold of Stepanakert in Azerbaijan’s breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh.
Armenia Accuses Azerbaijan of Attempting ‘Ethnic Cleansing’ in Karabakh
Meanwhile, Armenia accused Azerbaijan of unleashing “large-scale aggression” against the Armenian-populated separatist region of Karabakh and claimed Baku was attempting “ethnic cleansing” in the region.
“On September 19, Azerbaijan unleashed another large-scale (act of) aggression against the people of Nagorno-Karabakh, aiming to complete its policy of ethnic cleansing,” Armenia’s foreign ministry said.
Armenia PM Dials Antony Blinken
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan held a telephone conversation with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and they discussed the situation in Karabakh, according to EHA News.
Azerbaijani Presidential Adviser Says Op Close to Completion
Azerbaijani presidential adviser Hikmet Hajiyev said the main objectives of Azerbaijan’s operation in Karabakh are close to completion and military targets have already been neutralized.
Azerbaijan Must Halt Karabakh Operation ‘Immediately’: EU Chief
EU chief Charles Michel called on Azerbaijan to stop its military operation in the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh.
“Devastating news coming from former Nagorno-Karabakh oblast today. Military actions of Azerbaijan must be immediately halted to allow for a genuine dialogue between Baku and Karabakh Armenians,” Michel wrote in a social media post.
Karabakh is internationally recognised as part of Azerbaijan but largely populated by ethnic Armenians.
The attacks come shortly after Baku claimed that four Azerbaijani police officers and two civilians were killed in mine blasts in the breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh region.
The eastern European neighbours have been fighting each other for decades over the mountainous Nagorno-Karabakh region and have fought two wars in the 1990s and in 2020.
There were fears that a fresh series of fightings may erupt between the neighbouring nations as Armenia accused Azerbaijan of increasing presence of troops and blocked its only land link to Armenian-majority Karabakh.
(With AFP inputs)