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Nagorno-Karabakh bombed in an operation described as “anti-terrorist” by Azerbaijan

The guns speak again in Nagorno-Karabakh, a mountainous separatist region of Azerbaijan populated by Armenians. On September 19, Azerbaijan launched large-scale military operations described as anti-terrorist. Local authorities report intensive shooting in Stepanakert, the capital of Karabakh, and other towns in the region. There are already deaths and injuries.

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The attack appears to be large-scale and does not as such resemble an anti-terrorist operation, according to RFI’s correspondent in the region, Régis Genté. Bursts of small arms were heard in the capital of the secessionist region of Nagorno-Karabakh, but also heavy artillery.

According to sources on site, the attack is not only focused on the capital Stepanakert, but also all along the line of contact between Azerbaijan and the rest of its province of Nagorno-Karabakh. This remains to be demonstrated, but several testimonies point in this direction.

So, what we can fear – also seeing the nature of certain messages sent by the Azerbaijani authorities which recommends, for example, to the inhabitants of Stepanakert to go to new shelters provided for this purpose on the road to Lachin, is that is to say towards the rest of Armenia – is that Azerbaijan intends to definitively settle the question of Nagorno-Karabakh.

In the 2020 war, after a negotiation by President Putin, Azerbaijan had retaken the districts around the Nagorno-Karabakh province, but not Nagorno-Karabakh itself, which is inhabited by around 120,000 ethnic Armenians in this day. Since the war, since 2020, Baku has insisted and put pressure on Armenia to take back the rest of the province and include it definitively within its constitutional fold.

An “anti-terrorist” operation in Nagorno-Karabakh according to Azerbaijan

Baku announced its operation after complaining that six of its citizens had been killed by landmines, in two separate incidents blamed on “ illegal Armenian armed groups “. Armenia, for its part, says it has no military personnel in Karabakh and assures that its priorities are purely humanitarian.

For Azerbaijan, there is no peace possible without Armenian withdrawal: “ The only way to achieve peace and stability in the region is the unconditional and complete withdrawal of the Armenian armed forces from the Azerbaijani Karabakh region and the dissolution of the so-called regime. » separatist, Yerevan diplomacy said in a statement.

Armenia denounces “ethnic cleansing” in Nagorno-Karabakh

Karabakh separatist forces say “ resist » to Azerbaijani forces. But according to them, two civilians have already been killed and 23 injured in the clashes.

Hohvannès Guevorkian, representative of Nagorno-Karabakh in France, contacted by RFI, denounced “ the indifference of the international community » face « blatant ethnic cleansing in Nagorno-Karabakh » by Bajou.

We are, unfortunately, counting the first deaths, including children and women.

Azerbaijan has unleashed a new large-scale aggression against the people of Nagorno Karabakh, seeking to complete its policy of ethnic cleansing », affirmed the Armenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs which calls on “ Russian peace forces » to stop Azerbaijani aggression.

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian convened his security council. In a televised speech, he accused Azerbaijan of “ drag Armenia into hostilities », ensuring that the Armenian army was not engaged in the fighting. “ We must not allow certain people, certain forces to strike a blow against the Armenian state. There are already calls from different places to carry out a coup in Armenia “, he insisted.

Vladimir Putin’s Russia calls for “an end to the bloodshed”

Russia, which says it was only warned “ a few minutes » before the start of the « anti-terrorist operations “, called on Azerbaijan and Armenia to ” end the bloodshed » to Nagorno-Karabakh and to return to « a peaceful settlement » in this enclave that has been disputed for several decades. “ All stages of a peaceful solution are set out in the agreements signed in 2020 and 2022 », added the spokesperson for Russian diplomacy, Maria Zakharova.

The head of American diplomacy Antony Blinken said he wanted to contact “ all parties “.

The President of the European Council, Charles Michel, who has conducted mediation in the past between the two countries, ruled that Azerbaijan must “immediately” cease its operation.

France condemned “ with the greatest firmness » the launch by Azerbaijan of this military operation and requested “ the emergency convening of a meeting of the United Nations Security Council “.

Read alsoBetween Armenia and Azerbaijan, possible de-escalation in Nagorno-Karabakh

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