Azerbaijan on Saturday accused Armenia of placing its second-largest metropolis with a ballistic missile that killed at the very least 13 civilians and wounded 50 others in a brand new escalation of their battle over Nagorno-Karabakh.
The Armenian Protection Ministry denied launching the strike, however the separatist authorities in Nagorno-Karabakh put out a press release itemizing alleged “professional” army amenities within the metropolis of Ganja, though they stopped wanting claiming accountability for the assault.
Azerbaijani officers mentioned the Soviet-made Scud missile destroyed or broken about 20 residential buildings in Ganja in a single day, and emergency staff spent hours looking out within the rubble for victims and survivors.
Scud missiles date again to the 1960s and carry a giant load of explosives however are recognized for his or her lack of precision.
In a televised deal with to the nation, Azerbaijan’s president, Ilham Aliyev, denounced the missile strike as a conflict crime and warned the management of Armenia that it might face accountability for that.
“Azerbaijan will give its response and it’ll accomplish that solely on the battlefield,” Aliyev mentioned.
Whereas authorities in each Azerbaijan and Armenia have denied concentrating on civilians, residential areas have more and more come below shelling amid the hostilities which have raged for 3 weeks regardless of Russia’s try to dealer a cease-fire.
Stepanakert, the regional capital of Nagorno-Karabakh, got here below intense shelling in a single day, leaving three civilians wounded, in keeping with separatist authorities.
Nagorno-Karabakh lies inside Azerbaijan however has been below the management of ethnic Armenian forces backed by Armenia since a conflict there led to 1994. The newest outburst of preventing started on Sept. 27 and has concerned heavy artillery, rockets and drones, killing a whole lot and marking the most important escalation of hostilities between the South Caucasus neighbors in additional than a quarter-century.
Aliyev introduced Saturday that Azerbaijani forces have taken the city of Fizuli and 7 villages round it, gaining a “strategic edge.”
Fizuli is likely one of the seven Azerbaijani areas exterior Nagorno-Karabakh that was seized by the Armenian forces throughout the conflict within the early 1990s.
Russia, which has a safety pact with Armenia but in addition has cultivated heat ties with Azerbaijan, hosted prime diplomats from each nations for greater than 10 hours of talks that ended with Saturday’s cease-fire deal. However the settlement instantly frayed, with each side blaming one another for breaching it.
Azerbaijan has insisted it has the suitable to reclaim its land by pressure after efforts by the so-called Minsk group of worldwide mediators that contains Russia, the USA and France didn’t yield any progress. Azerbaijan has actively pushed for its ally Turkey to take a distinguished position in future peace talks.
Turkish Protection Minister Hulusi Akar spoke on the telephone together with his Azerbaijani counterpart, congratulating Azerbaijan on “liberating Fizuli from the occupation” and downing the Armenian jets.
The Azerbaijani army declared Saturday that they downed an Armenian Su-25 jet, a declare shortly dismissed by Armenia’s Protection Ministry.
Drones and rocket techniques provided by Turkey have given the Azerbaijani army an edge on the battlefield, serving to them outgun the Armenian forces that rely totally on outdated Soviet-era weapons.