Azerbaijan liberates 13 more villages from Armenian occupation

20 Octobre, 2020, 15:24 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Azerbaijan liberates 13 more villages from Armenian occupation

The former Soviet republics of Azerbaijan and Armenia are accusing each other of breaching a second ceasefire agreement over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region.

Armenia and Azerbaijan have been locked in a decades-old conflict over the Nagorno-Karabakh region, which is the internationally recognized territory of Azerbaijan but occupied by Armenia.

Azerbaijan on Sunday shot down another Armenian Su-25 fighter jet, according to the country's Defense Ministry - the second Su-25 to be downed in as many days, Anadolu Agency reports.

Russia, France and the United States belong to the Minsk Group, which has attempted to help resolve the conflict under the umbrella of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

In a phone call, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar congratulated Azerbaijan on shooting down the jets, said Turkey's Defense Ministry on Sunday.

There are concerns the conflict could also draw in worldwide players such as Turkey - an important ally of Azerbaijan - and Russian Federation, which has a defense pact with Armenia.

Azerbaijan said its forces were just responding to Armenian fire.

"Azerbaijan remains committed to the humanitarian ceasefire, however, Azerbaijan reserves its right to take counter measures to protect its civilians and positions", the statement said.

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Zohrab Mnatsakanyan, Armenia's minister of foreign affairs, later said that Azerbaijan had launched a "large scale offensive operation" starting at 7:20 a.m. Baku is the capital of Azerbaijan. Armenia denied this charge and argued that the Azeri army had fired twice overnight and was refusing to allow the removal of wounded Armenian soldiers from the battlefield.

In a statement released Sunday, Nagorno-Karabakh's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that global recognition of the territory is "the only way to stop the Azerbaijani-Turkish perfidious behaviour that undermines the efforts and authority of worldwide mediators".

The ombudsman reported that 36 civilians had been killed, and 115 people wounded, as of October 16.

The defence ministry of the Nagorno-Karabakh region said on Monday it had recorded another 19 casualties among its military, pushing the military death toll to 729.

President Ilham Aliyev announced Monday about the liberation of 13 more villages in the district of Jabrayil, after 27 years of Armenia's occupation in 1993.

The UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has condemned "all attacks on populated areas" in and around the Nagorno-Karabakh zone of conflict.

Hundreds of people have died in renewed fighting that broke out in September - the deadliest clashes since a war over the separatist territory ended in 1994.


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