US-brokered, third ceasefire agreement in Karabakh falls through
With the mediation of the United States, Azerbaijan and Armenia agreed on a temporary humanitarian truce in the combat zone in Karabakh from 8 a.m. local time on October 26, but it was broken in the first few minutes after coming into force.
Karabakh President Arayik Harutyunyan welcomed the ceasefire agreement reached in the US. A few minutes before its start, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan announced his intention to strictly observe the ceasefire regime on his Facebook page. A similar statement was also made by the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry.
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres welcomed the ceasefire agreement.
However, almost immediately after the onset of the appointed hour, the press service of the Ministry of Defense of Azerbaijan published this message:
“On October 26 at 08.05 am, the armed forces of Armenia, violating the new humanitarian ceasefire, subjected the units of the Azerbaijani Army located in the village of Safiyan, Lachin region to artillery fire.”
A few minutes later, the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry issued another report on the violation of the ceasefire:
“The Armenian armed forces, violating the new humanitarian ceasefire, fired on the city of Terter and the villages of the region on October 26”.
The same news was confirmed on Twitter by the aide to the President of Azerbaijan, Hikmet Hajiyev.
The Armenian side denied these statements of Azerbaijan:
“The units of the defense army are strictly complying with the agreements reached, and the accusations of the hostile side not only have nothing to do with reality, but were made in the context of preparing an information base for its further provocations,” the statement of the Karabakh Defense Ministry said.
Very soon a message came from the press secretary of the Armenian Defense Ministry. Shushan Stepanyan wrote on her Facebook page:
“In gross violation of the humanitarian ceasefire agreement reached in the United States, the Azerbaijani side at about 8:45 fired artillery at the northeastern military positions in Artsakh.”
Minutes later, she published a second message with similar content:
“Another violation was recorded at about 09:10. The enemy took aim at positions in the southeastern direction, firing 5 artillery shells at them.”