Fighting in Karabakh, overview of the last week. Photo/video
The ‘second Karabakh war’ has continued now for more than a month, following the breakout of violence on September 27.
The Armenian and Azerbaijani armies have been engaged in intense warfare in and around Karabakh since September 27. Several thousand people have already died among military servicemen and civilians on both sides. During this time, the sides have agreed to a ceasefire three times – on October 10, 18 and 26 respectively, but have been broken shortly after they took effect. Both sides accuse one another of violating the ceasefires.
An overview of the main events of the week from 26-31 October.
Azerbaijani Armed Forces use banned phosphorus munitions containing elements of chemical weapons, Karabakh Defense Ministry declared and published a proving video. The Azerbaijani Defense Ministry categorically denied.
If the battles move to the territory of Armenia, Russia will help Yerevan – Russian Foreign Ministry in response to to the letter of the Armenian Prime Minister, in which he asked to start consultations on helping Armenia to ensure its security.
“Karabakh is a question of national dignity, of justice, and a question of international law. We are restoring justice, and we ourselves are implementing the UN Security Council resolutions that have remained” – Ilham Aliyev in an interview to the German ARD television.
The (dis)information war around Karabakh
Russian community of Azerbaijan holds rally in support of army.
• The Armenian military fired at several regions of Azerbaijan – Gubadli, Goranboy, Terter, Agdam and Agjabedi, the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry reported.
• The Azerbaijani military fired rockets at settlements in Karabakh, the Karabakh Defense Ministry said.
• Another 9 settlements came under the control of the Azerbaijani army, Ilham Aliyev said.
• A trip to Moscow of ex-President of Armenia Robert Kocharyian was announced and then postponed after he was diagnosed with a coronavirus. Kocharian was planning a trip with another ex-president of Armenia Levon Ter-Petrosyan to “discuss the situation in Karabakh with the Russian political elite and then propose concrete solutions to the Armenian government.”
‘Peace in exchange for territories’ – an opinion from Baku about the seven regions around Karabakh
• Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch confirmed the use of banned cluster bombs by the Armenian military against civilians in the Azerbaijani town of Barda. Earlier, Human Rights Watch announced that the Azerbaijani military was using cluster bombs against civilians in Karabakh.
Armenia, Azerbaijan using prohibited cluster bombs in Karabakh conflict zone – HRW and Amnesty International
• “The adversary is 5 km from Shushi” [the second largest city in Karabakh]”, said the president of Karabakh and called on everyone to unite and prevent the capture of the city.
• The Armenian military fired at the Goranboy and Tartar regions of Azerbaijan, the aide to the President of Azerbaijan said.
• “Stepanakert, Shushi and surrounding settlements remain the targets of the Azerbaijani military”, the Karabakh Defense Ministry said.
• The first handover of the bodies of dead servicemen took place thanks to the efforts of Russia, the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office. Azerbaijan reported that it handed over 30 bodies of Armenian soldiers, and also handed over two elderly people who were found alive during the fighting in Hadrut. Armenia reported that 29 bodies of Armenian soldiers were handed over, and one civilian was also transferred alive.
• The Karabakh Defense Army has published lists of legitimate military targets located in the cities of Barda and Ganja in Azerbaijan. Both cities were bombed by the Armenian military, and dozens of civilians were killed there.
• The European Court ordered the Azerbaijani government to provide information on five more Armenian prisoners of war by November 3, said a representative of the families of Armenian prisoners of war at the European Court of Human Rights. Armenia claims that there are a total of 17 captured Armenian soldiers in Azerbaijan.
90,000 Karabakh refugees setting up new lives after fleeing homes
• The President of Azerbaijan signed a decree “On the organization of administration in the territories liberated from occupation”, where commandant’s offices are being created.
• “[It is necessary] to talk about the transfer of five plus two regions to Azerbaijan with the provision of a certain regime for the Karabakh zone. A long-term settlement is to find a balance of interests that would suit both parties. For the settlement of the Karabakh conflict, it is necessary to stop hostilities in order to sit down at the negotiating table,” the Russian president said.
• 21 people were killed and more than 60 injured after the Armenian military fired rockets at the Azerbaijani city of Barda, the Azerbaijani prosecutor general’s reported, also saying that cluster munitions prohibited by the international law had been used in the attack. The Armenian defense ministry denied the accusations.
Missile attack on Azerbaijani city of Barda: 21 dead, dozens wounded
• Armenia’s foreign ministry accused Azerbaijan of a new slew of missile attacks on the cities of Stepanakert and Shushi in Karabakh. It said a local maternity hospital building had been damaged as a result of the attacks, but reported no casualties. The Azerbaijani defense ministry denied the accusations.
Azerbaijani Armed Forces strike medical center of Stepanakert. Photo report
• Another 13 settlements have come under the control of the Azerbaijani army, the president of Azerbaijan announced.
• “Armenia’s policy is for other countries to solve their problems for them. I tell them: ‘Recognize Karabakh instead of asking other countries to do it’ – the president of Azerbaijan in an interview with the Russian Interfax news agency said.
• According to the Karabakh authorities, Azerbaijani military forces bombed settlements in Karabakh. This is denied by Baku.
• Baku stated that Armenian armed forces launched rocket attacks on the city of Barda in Azerbaijan. Yerevan has denied the claim.
Video by JAMnews correspondent from the scene of the event:
• An escalation was observed on the border between Azerbaijan and Armenia. Yerevan accused Azerbaijan of shelling its southern borders, Baku denied this, but announced a diversion by Armenia in the border area with Iran.
Escalation on the Azerbaijani-Armenian border — a new stage of the conflict?
• The Investigative Committee of Armenia reported that there are 17 Armenian prisoners of war in Azerbaijan.
• Jalal Harutyunyan and Nagorno Karabakh Defense Minister was wounded and replaced.
• “The strategy of the Armenian government will not change, the struggle for the rights of the people of Karabakh will continue, the Karabakh Defense Army has personnel and weapons necessary to solve the tasks set,” the Armenian Prime Minister said in a televised address.
• Iran announced that it will present an initiative to resolve the Karabakh conflict. Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Arakchi arrived in Baku on October 28, then will visit Moscow, Yerevan and Ankara.
• Turkish President Erdogan called Putin to discuss the Karabakh conflict. The details of the conversation are unknown, the Kremlin’s official website says that “the Russian side has expressed deep concern over the increasingly large-scale involvement of terrorists from the Middle East in clashes.”
What’s going on between Turkey and Russia? Commentary from Baku
• The involvement of any country in the settlement in Karabakh must be coordinated with Armenia and Azerbaijan, said the press secretary of the Russian President Dmitry Peskov regarding Turkey’s participation in the negotiations on the resolution of the Karabakh conflict.
• At 8 am on October 26, the third ceasefire agreement entered into force and was immediately violated. The parties again accused each other of violating the ceasefire, as happened in previous attempts (October 10 and 18).
Why the US can’t afford to ignore the Karabakh conflict – former head of NATO forces in Europe
• The Armenian Defense Ministry accused Azerbaijan of shelling settlements in Karabakh using Smerch multiple launch rocket systems.
• The Azerbaijani army approached the southern border of Armenia, to the Syunik region, the Armenian Ministry of Defense said, saying that “the situation is under control.”
• The President of Azerbaijan said that the Azerbaijani army took control of 18 more settlements in the zone of the Karabakh conflict.
• “Moscow is against a military solution in Karabakh and calls on all external players to refrain from developing a military scenario,” said Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
• “The Armenian people and government are ready for mutual concessions [of the parties to the conflict], even for painful concessions, but the Armenian people are not ready for surrender in any case. But Azerbaijan does not want a solution to the Karabakh issue, it wants the surrender of Karabakh, ”Nikol Pashinyan said live on his Facebook page.
• The wife of the Prime Minister of Armenia announced that she was going to the front “to defend the borders of our Motherland”.
Wife of Armenian PM goes to the front in Karabakh war