Clashes between Azerbaijan and Armenia separatists go away at the very least 23 useless

Clashes between Azerbaijan and Armenia separatists leave at least 23 dead
YREVAN: Arch enemies Armenia and Azerbaijan Sunday, accused one another of initiating lethal clashes that left at the very least 23 useless in a decades-long land dispute and threatened to draw regional powers, Russia and turkey.
The worst clashes since 2016 have raised the specter of a brand new struggle between longtime rivals Azerbaijan and Armenia, who’ve been locked for many years in a territorial dispute over the breakaway area of Nagorno-Karabakh, backed by Armenia.
Sixteen Armenian separatist fighters have been killed and greater than 100 injured within the combating, insurgent officers mentioned.
Each side additionally reported casualties, together with at the very least one Armenian lady and a baby. Baku mentioned an Azerbaijani household of 5 was killed within the bombing raids by Armenian separatists.
A serious confrontation between Muslim Azerbaijan and majority Christian Armenia threatened to confuse regional actors in Moscow and Ankara, and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan known as on world powers to forestall Turkey from getting concerned within the battle.
“We’re on the point of a full-scale struggle within the South Caucasus,” Pashinyan warned.
“The authoritarian regime of Azerbaijan has as soon as once more declared struggle on the Armenian individuals,” he added.
France, Germany and the EU shortly known as for an “speedy ceasefire”, whereas Pope Francis prayed for peace.
Russian President Vladimir Putin mentioned the navy outbreak with Pashinyan and known as for “an finish to hostilities”.
“The Russian aspect has expressed deep concern over the resumption of large-scale clashes,” the Kremlin mentioned.
However Azerbaijan’s ally Turkey blamed Yerevan for the outbreak and pledged Baku “full help”.
“The Turkish individuals will help our Azerbaijani brothers with all our means, as all the time,” tweeted Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Azerbaijan accused Armenian forces of violating a ceasefire, claiming to have launched a counteroffensive to “guarantee the security of the inhabitants”, utilizing tanks, artillery missiles, fighter planes and drones.
Azerbaijan has imposed martial regulation and a curfew in main cities and mentioned it captured a strategic mountain from Armenian rebels that helps management transport communications between Yerevan and the Armenian-held enclave.
In a televised deal with to the nation earlier on Sunday, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev pledged victory over Armenian forces.
“Our trigger is simply and we’ll win,” he mentioned, echoing a well-known quote from the speech of Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin on the outbreak of World Battle II in Russia.
“Karabakh is Azerbaijan,” he mentioned.
Armenia and Karabakh declared martial regulation and navy mobilization.
“Put together to defend our sacred homeland,” Pashinyan mentioned on Fb.
Armenia mentioned Azerbaijan attacked civilian settlements in Nagorno-Karabakh, together with the primary city of Stepanakert.
Pashinyan’s spouse, Anna Hakobyan, mentioned she visited a hospital in Stepanakert to be along with her “siblings” in Karabakh.
Azerbaijan’s Overseas Ministry mentioned there have been studies of deaths and accidents. “Appreciable injury has been inflicted on many homes and civilian infrastructure,” he mentioned.
Karabakh rights ombudsperson Artak Beglaryan referred to “civilian casualties”, whereas Armenia mentioned a girl and little one had been killed.
Ethnic Armenian separatists seized the Nagorno-Karabakh area of Baku in a struggle within the 1990s that left 30,000 useless.
Talks to resolve one of many worst conflicts to emerge from the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 have largely been stalled since a 1994 ceasefire settlement.
France, Russia and the US negotiated the peace efforts because the “Minsk Group,” however the final huge push for a peace deal collapsed in 2010.
Pope Francis advised crowds in St. Peter’s Sq. that he was praying for peace and known as for “concrete gestures of goodwill and brotherhood” from the belligerents.
Political observers have mentioned world powers ought to step up talks to finish the battle.
“We’re on the point of a full-scale struggle,” Olesya Vartanyan of the Worldwide Disaster Group advised AFP.
“One of many most important causes for the present escalation is the shortage of proactive worldwide mediation between the events for weeks,” she added.
“The struggle is resuming. It’s time for Russia, France and the US, individually and collectively, to cease it,” tweeted Dmitry Trenin, director of the Carnegie Moscow Heart.
Karabakh separatist chief Arayik Harutyunyan accused Ankara of sending mercenaries to Azerbaijan.
On Sunday morning, Azerbaijan launched an “lively bombardment” alongside the Karabakh entrance line, together with civilian targets and in Stepanakert, the Karabakh presidency mentioned.
The insurgent Protection Ministry mentioned its troops shot down 4 Azerbaijani helicopters and 15 drones, whereas Baku denied the declare.
In July, violent clashes alongside the frequent border of the 2 international locations – lots of of kilometers from Karabakh – claimed the lives of at the very least 17 troopers on each side.
Elevating the stakes, Azerbaijan threatened on the time to strike the Armenian nuclear energy plant if Yerevan attacked strategic amenities.
Within the worst latest clashes in April 2016, round 110 individuals had been killed.

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