Karabakh: truce between Azerbaijan and Armenia broken once again
Despite the ceasefire announced on the night of October 18, Azerbaijani and Armenian armed forces continued to fight in Karabakh and adjacent regions of Azerbaijan, which have been under the control of the Karabakh authorities since the war in the early 1990s.
An overview of the events of the day, from both sides.
Information from Yerevan and Stepanakert
The Karabakh Defense Ministry reported in the morning that the humanitarian ceasefire had been observed that night, with the exception of artillery shelling in the north and missile fire in the south.
However, after active artillery fire at 07:20 in the morning, the armed forces of Azerbaijan launched an offensive in the south, “on the Khudaferin reservoir [in the Jabrayil region] in order to occupy advantageous positions”.
The Armenian Defense Ministry also reported that Azerbaijan is using a large number of drones and artillery weapons.
The Armenian Foreign Ministry accused Azerbaijan of violating the ceasefire agreement reached with the personal assistance of the head of the co-chairing country of the OSCE Minsk Group, Russian President Vladimir Putin, for the second time.
The statement also said that “Armenia will continue to take all necessary measures to force Azerbaijan to accept peace”.
The Armenian Foreign Ministry later released another statement, claiming Azerbaijan refused to accept attempts to mediate from the International Committee of the Red Cross to have wounded soldiers withdrawn from the battlefield.
Adviser to the President of Nagorno-Karabakh David Babayan said at a briefing on October 18 that the humanitarian truce in Karabakh is indefinite, although Baku denies this:
“If Azerbaijan states that it will only last for a few days, then their goal is to take aggressive actions again in a few days.” In his opinion, if Azerbaijan once again ignores the agreement and shows disrespect for the efforts of the international community to achieve a truce, the countries – the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs will have to establish peace using other, tougher methods”.
After these statements were released a relative calm was reported along the entire front line throughout the day.
On the evening of October 18, a message was received about a telephone conversation between the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Armenia and the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell.
Zohrab Mnatsakanyan expressed concern about the “uncertain position of some players in the international community” regarding fighting in Karabakh. In his opinion, “such a policy is viewed by Azerbaijan as tolerance for the continuation of Azerbaijani aggression, accompanied by violations of international law”.
Foreign Minister Mnatsakanyan once again stressed that Azerbaijan’s aggression is taking place in the context of the direct intervention of Turkey, which, among other things, attracts armed terrorists to the region. Since the beginning of hostilities, the Armenian side has repeatedly stated that this poses a serious threat to regional and international security.
Members of the German Bundestag, who visited Karabakh, told Armenian journalists at a briefing that they had seen the Azerbaijani Armed Forces destroy peaceful villages.
“We saw bombs being dropped on residential buildings in Stepanakert and Shusha, and weapons prohibited by international law were used against the civilian population. It is obvious that Azerbaijan is trying to genocide the population through drones, this is a ‘drone genocide’. We call on world parliaments not only to make statements, but also to act, to impose sanctions against the countries that attacked Karabakh and the countries that supply them with weapons”, said Bundestag MP Steffen Kotre.
Information from Baku
“Despite the announcement of a new humanitarian ceasefire starting on 00:00 October 18, the Armenian armed forces once again grossly violated the agreement”, the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry said in the morning on October 18.
The source also states that “during the night, the enemy fired from mortars and artillery at the outskirts of the city of Jabrayil, as well as the villages in this region liberated from occupation, located along the Araz River. There are no casualties among the servicemen”.
In the early hours of the morning, the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry also broadcast the news that the enemy’s attempts to attack Agderin, Fizuli, Hadrut and Jebrail were suppressed (the areas adjacent to Karabakh are under the control of the Karabakh authorities after the war in the early 1990s).
It is also reported that immediately after the announcement of the ceasefire and until 4 am on October 18, Armenia also made attempts to aggravate the situation on the border with Azerbaijan:
“Large-caliber weapons were used, they fired at the positions of the Azerbaijani army in the Gadabay region from the territory of the Chemberk region of Armenia, and at the positions of the Azerbaijani Army in the Tovuz region from the territory of the Berdsky region of Armenia”.
In the daytime, the territory of the Aghdam region of Azerbaijan came under fire from the Armenian armed forces.
The President of Azerbaijan wrote on Twitter that the Azerbaijani armed forces raised the flag of Azerbaijan over the ancient Khudaferin bridge located in the Jebrail region over the Araz river. The bridge connects this area with Iran.
The Azerbaijan Defense Ministry has published footage from the city of Fizuli, which had been transferred to the Azerbaijani army’s control the day before.