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Armenia, Azerbaijan Declare Martial Law After Clashes In Disputed Nagorno-Karabakh

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Armenia, Azerbaijan Declare Martial Law After Clashes In Disputed Nagorno-Karabakh

Armenia and Azerbaijan declared martial law on September 27 after both sides reported heavy destruction and casualties in clashes in the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh.

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian said the government decided to declare martial law and a total mobilization after Azerbaijan launched an air and artillery attack on civilian settlements in Nagorno-Karabakh, including in the regional capital of Stepanakert.

Azerbaijan's parliament followed with its own introduction of martial law across the country along with curfews, said Hikmet Hajiyev, an aide to the president.

The moves come after morning clashes between Azerbaijani and Armenian forces over the breakaway region, which is inside Azerbaijan but run by ethnic Armenians.

Both sides have reported casualties, prompting international calls for the two sides to stop fighting and return to negotiations.

Azerbaijan said it had launched a military operation in response to shelling along the so-called Line of Contact that separates Armenian and Azerbaijani forces on the front line of Europe's longest-running conflict.
Armenia's Defense Ministry said that its troops shot down two Azerbaijani helicopters and three drones, a claim rejected by Baku.

"Our response will be proportionate, and the military-political leadership of Azerbaijan bears full responsibility for the situation," the Armenian Defense Ministry said in a statement.

Azerbaijan's Defense Ministry said its forces were “taking retaliatory measures and our troops are in full control of the operational situation.”

The ministry said that “fierce battles are ongoing all along the front line.”
A spokesman for the Armenian Defense Ministry said an Armenian woman and child were killed in Nagorno-Karabakh.

The Armenian government, as part of its martial law declaration, is requiring local media to cite only official Armenian information about military-related reports and is barring the use of Azerbaijani or outside sources.

International Response

Armenian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Anna Naghdalian and Armenian Defense Ministry spokesman Artsrun Hovhannisian said Azerbaijani forces launched missile attacks beginning around 7 a.m. along the Line of Contact and said civilians and civilian infrastructure in Stepanakert had been targeted.

"There has been significant damage to buildings in certain parts of Nagorno-Karabakh and [its capital] Stepanakert," Hovhannisian said during a joint news conference with Naghdalian.

Turkey, a close ally of Baku, said Armenia must immediately cease hostility towards Azerbaijan that will "throw the region into fire.”

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian speaking to parliament on September 27.
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian speaking to parliament on September 27.

Pashinian also called on the international community to ensure that Turkey does not involve itself in the conflict. Turkey had earlier sharply criticized Armenia, saying Yerevan was an obstacle to peace and vowing to continue its support for Baku.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's spokesman Ibrahim Kalin addressed the flare-up in comments to Reuters.

"We believe this conflict can be resolved through peaceful negotiations, but the Armenian side has shown no interest so far other than continuing to occupy parts of Azerbaijan," Kalin said. "That occupation must end, everybody knows where the solution lies, and the Minsk Group countries must put pressure on Armenia to stop violating international law."

He added: "Turkey remains fully in solidarity with Azerbaijan."

The Minsk Group is a platform established by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). It is chaired by the United States, France, and Russia.

Russia called on both sides to "immediately halt fire and begin talks to stabilize the situation."

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov “is conducting intensive contacts in order to induce the parties to cease fire and start negotiations to stabilize the situation,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said.

Russia, which has a military base in Armenia, regards Yerevan as a strategic partner in the region.

EU Council President Charles Michel said reports of the hostilities were a serious concern.

"Military action must stop, as a matter of urgency, to prevent a further escalation," Michel said on Twitter. "An immediate return to negotiations, without preconditions, is the only way forward."

France and Germany expressed concern over the confrontation, while Iran also called for an end to the fighting and said it was ready to facilitate talks and a cease-fire.

Pope Francis also reacted to the fighting, calling it "worrying news" and said he was praying for peace in the Caucasus and asking for "steps of goodwill and brotherhood."

Lives Upended: The Deadly Armenian-Azerbaijani Cross-Border Conflict In Images
Photo Gallery:

Lives Upended: The Deadly Armenian-Azerbaijani Cross-Border Conflict In Images

Tensions remain high along the northern border between Armenia and Azerbaijan after days of deadly skirmishes between the two former Soviet republics.

Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent districts of Azerbaijan were seized by Armenian-backed separatists who declared independence amid a 1988-1994 conflict that killed at least 30,000 people and displaced hundreds of thousands.
Since a fragile, Russian-brokered truce in 1994, the region has been under the control of ethnic Armenian forces that Azerbaijan says includes troops supplied by Armenia. The region's claim to independence has not been recognized by any country.
In July, a days-long flare-up that included drone attacks and heavy artillery fire killed at least 17 people, mostly soldiers on both sides but including at least one civilian, in the worst fighting in about four years. Since then, periodic skirmishes have taken place in the region.

With reporting by Reuters, dpa, and TASS

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Armenian Aggression

Azerbaijan liberates Gubadli city, new villages from Armenian occupation

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By Aisha Jabbarova

The Azerbaijani Army has liberated Gubadli city after 27 years of military occupation by Armenia.

President announced the news of liberation in his Twitter account on October 26.

“Victorious Armed Forces of Azerbaijan have liberated several villages of Zengilan, Jabrayil and Gubadli districts and the city of Gubadli. Long live Azerbaijan’s Armed Forces! Karabakh is Azerbaijan!” Aliyev tweeted.

President Aliyev announced the names of the liberated villages in an address to the nation on October 26.

The names of the liberated villages are Birinji Alibayli, Ikinji Alibayli, Raband, Yenikand (in Zangilan), Jabrayil district: Govshudlu, Sofulu, Dagh Mashanli, Kurdlar, Hovuslu, Chalabilar (in Jabrayil), Padar, Afandilar, Yusifbayli, Chaytumas, Khanlig, Sariyatag, Mollaburhan (in Gubadli).

The Azerbaijani Army has so far liberated from occupation Jabrayil, Fuzuli cities, Hadrut town, many villages in Khojavand and Jabrayil districts since military operations that started on September 27 after Armenian attacks on Azerbaijani Army positions and civilians.

Armenian armed forces launched a large-scale operation in the front-line zone on September 27 at 6 am, shelling the positions of the Azerbaijani army from large-calibre weapons, mortars, and artillery installations of various calibres. Armenia has been targeting Azerbaijan’s densely populated areas and infrastructure projects.

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Armenian Aggression

President Aliyev urges international community’s pressure on Armenia

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By Vafa Ismayilova

President Ilham Aliyev has urged the international community and the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs to speak up against the daily shelling of Azerbaijani territories by Armenian troops and the occupation of Azerbaijani troops.

The president also said that the only way to stop Azerbaijan from liberating its occupied lands is for Armenia to withdraw its troops from Azerbaijani territories.

The president made the remarks on 25 October at an operational meeting at the Central Command Post of the Azerbaijani Defence Ministry attended by the ministry leadership and commanders of the joint corps located in the frontline zone.

“Hundreds and thousands of shells are fired at our cities and villages in Tartar, Aghdam and other frontline regions every day, but the international community remains tight-lipped over this. And so do the mediators. All they are concerned about now is how to get Armenia out of this situation. There is a way to do this – Armenia must withdraw from our lands, it must get out of there. This is required by international law. But no pressure is being put on them. On the contrary, there are attempts to influence and put pressure on us. Of course, no-one can influence us, no-one can influence our resolve. I want our servicemen and citizens to know that there is a very serious struggle – both on the frontline and in the political arena. We shed blood on the battlefield, liberate our lands from occupiers at the cost of the lives of these heroes, while at the same time, we resist, show courage and defend our positions on the political stage,” the president said in his address to the operational meeting.

He also underlined: “Azerbaijan is not alone, our territorial integrity is recognized by the international community and we operate within the norms of international law – even though Armenia has repeatedly provoked Azerbaijan during this period, fired on the country’s military positions from Armenian territory, fired on settlements, fired two ballistic missiles at Ganja from the territory of Armenia, as a result of which innocent people were killed.”

Aliyev spoke about Azerbaijan’s victories in the political arena.

Aliyev stressed that a few days ago after a meeting at the UN Security Council, the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs put forward a document to Azerbaijan that run counter to the country’s interests. He said that the attempt failed and no document was adopted.

“These days, we have seen again that Armenia does not intend to leave our lands of its own accord. We have seen again that during these 30 years, Armenia simply wanted to gain time, to imitate the negotiations and to perpetuate the status quo. Unfortunately, the international mediators were unable or did not want to put the necessary pressure on the occupying state. Otherwise, four UN Security Council resolutions would not remain on paper. I must also note that a few days ago, the co-chairs held a meeting of the UN Security Council. A document was put forward at the meeting that did not meet our interests and was intended to draw a line through the resolutions adopted in 1993. We strongly objected to this. This is another manifestation of injustice, another manifestation of double standards.

“The resolutions adopted in 1993 express a clear position on the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan. Resolutions adopted in 1993 demand complete, immediate and unconditional withdrawal of the Armenian armed forces from the occupied territories. The draft document initiated the other day did not contain these provisions. In short, this step is viewed as yet another provocation against Azerbaijan. We have raised our voice, and I am glad that some of the members of the Security Council objected to this even though they were pressured by major states. However, these countries are members of the Non-Aligned Movement, which is currently chaired by Azerbaijan. Of course, their support for Azerbaijan is highly appreciated and this shows that there is a high level of solidarity within the Non-Aligned Movement. In short, this political step failed and no document was adopted. I think this is another political victory for us. Just as we are winning on the battlefield, we are winning in the political arena. Just as we are driving the enemy away on the battlefield, we are also responding to the provocative steps of the enemy's supporters,” Aliyev said.

Furthermore, the president said that the countries that are so concerned about Armenia, patronize them and create conditions for the Armenians to occupy Azerbaijani lands for about 30 years should put pressure on Armenia. “The Armenian prime minister must declare that Armenia will withdraw from the occupied territories. We have not heard such statements. On the contrary, he talks of the self-determination of peoples and, in fact, has disrupted the process of negotiations,” Aliyev said.

Ceasefire cannot be unconditional

“A ceasefire was declared at the request of Armenia and at the suggestion of major powers twice and Armenia violated the ceasefire both times. The first time, less than a day later, they bombed Ganja. The second time they violated the ceasefire two minutes after it was announced. This being the case, Azerbaijan gave them and will continue to give them a decent rebuff, of course. We will continue to drive the enemy out of our lands, all the way…The ceasefire cannot be unconditional… For 28 years, they have been promising to us, asking us to wait, saying that they will put pressure on Armenia, that they will do this and that. It was all a lie. Everyone sees it now,” the president said.

Aliyev said that Armenia is being armed by other countries.

“The most modern weapons are being sent to Armenia every day. We have a list of these weapons. We have all the information about the flights, when, where and from which city they departed, when they arrived in Yerevan and what they carried. During the current fighting, about 300 Armenian tanks have been either destroyed or taken as military booty. Where does all this money come from? It is a poor country with no money and no opportunities. They got it for free. Six S-300 anti-aircraft missile systems have been destroyed. Their price is known. Where does this come from? TOR, OSA anti-aircraft missile systems, unmanned aerial vehicles, aircraft which have already been destroyed by Azerbaijan. Where did Tochka-U and SCUD come from? It is given to them for free. We cannot remain silent about it. Everyone should know this. We are fighting alone, on our own! I am saying all this, first of all, for the people of Azerbaijan to know the real situation. People should realize at what cost we are liberating our lands from occupiers,” he added.

Furthermore, Aliyev said that, military and political assistance given to Armenia over the past 27 to 28 years is the reason why Azerbaijani territories remain under occupation.

“Notice how Armenian soldiers are fleeing the battlefield. This footage is available. Only some of these images are published in the media but this is a very extensive video. Without these weapons, without this political support, could Armenia have occupied our lands? Of course not! As I said, we are driving them away and will continue to do that. No-one can stand in front of Azerbaijan. We are right, we are fighting on our own land, we are restoring our territorial integrity, we have not crossed into the territory of Armenia and have no such plans. If we had such an idea, we would have done it a long time ago. It does not take much effort to do so,” Aliyev said.

Armenia to be held accountable for its crimes

Aliyev pledged that Armenia as a state will be held accountable for crimes committed in Azerbaijan’s occupied lands.

“More than 100 settlements – cities and villages – have been liberated from the occupiers. The Azerbaijani flag has already been hoisted in our liberated cities and villages. Video footage of these cities and villages is available to the Azerbaijani public, so everyone can see the state to which the savage enemy has brought our cities and villages. There is not a single building left there. All buildings, houses, administrative buildings, social facilities, historical and religious sites have been destroyed by the hated enemy. The occupied lands and ruins are witness to Armenian vandalism. The Armenian state is responsible for these crimes and will be held accountable for them. I have ordered to conduct inspections in all liberated areas, to register all the destruction, to draw up acts, to register the destroyed property of our citizens. The Armenian state will definitely be held accountable for these war crimes. Once again, the whole world can see what kind of savages we are facing. Today, Azerbaijani soldiers and officers are teaching the enemy a lesson on the battlefield, are putting the enemy in its place, are driving the enemy out of our lands,” he said.

Aliyev said that over 60 civilians had been killed and about 300 had been injured in the Armenian cowardly shooting.

The president said at the meeting that the situation at the frontline was under his full control.

“The war has been going on for about a month. During this period, our country has achieved great successes on the battlefield. Good news comes from the frontline every day. During the day, I am regularly updated about the operations carried out in the war zone and give relevant instructions. Almost every hour I receive information about events in different regions. The Ministry of Defense and other agencies keep me informed. Operational meetings are held every day,” he said.

Aliyev said that after the war all successes and shortcomings will be analysed.

“We have succeeded on the battlefield. At the same time, these battles have shown that there are still drawbacks and shortcomings, and we are eliminating them promptly. At the same time, after these battles, after the end of the Second Karabakh War, all the successes and shortcomings of the war must be seriously analyzed. Although the Azerbaijani Army is one of the strongest armies in the world today, we must continue to use more modern methods in army building. These battles are a great experience for us. We have seen that some of the weapons in our military arsenal are not particularly necessary in modern warfare. On the contrary, we have entered a high-tech stage and, of course, technology and professionalism contribute a lot to the success of any army. I have said this before and I want to say again that it is the soldiers and officers who are liberating our lands from the occupiers,” he said.

The president urged more effective manner in conducting military operations.

“Our military operations must be conducted in a more effective manner and without wasting time. In some cases, there have been delays. In some cases, no justification can be provided for a delay. We are analyzing all this and will continue to do so. I repeat – the Azerbaijani Army shows great courage and professionalism. We lost our lands in the early 1990s over several years, but parts of Fuzuli, Hadrut, Jabrayil, Zangilan, Kalbajar and Gubadli districts have been liberated from the occupiers in less than a month. Again, good news comes from the frontline every day. It is true that some areas need serious adjustments but, on the whole, we are reaching our goal. Every day, a combat mission is set for the next day. I approve this combat mission and it is possible to say that almost all of it is fulfilled.”

“I am confident that Azerbaijan will restore its territorial integrity. We are fighting on our own land. Justice is on our side, international law is on our side, historical justice is on our side… I want to assure the people of Azerbaijan today that we will not turn back from the right path! No force can affect our resolve. We will drive the enemy away to the very end. We will restore our territorial integrity!” the president concluded.

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Tartar shelling: Fire breaks out in forest

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As a result of the enemy's ceasefire violation, a fire broke out in the forest area in Zivlan village, Dashkasan region.

According to the regional correspondent of Report, three fire engines were sent to the area.

Notably, Armenia has been shelling Tovuz, Gadabay, and Dashkesan regions of Azerbaijan from the Berd, Chambarak, and Vardenis regions of Armenia since this morning.

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