- Deadly clashes break out between Armenia and Azerbaijan
- Regional countries, including the EU, call for de-escalation
Heavy fighting broke out between Armenia and Azerbaijan on Sunday over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region.
Reportedly, Armenia has declared martial law and ordered military mobilization after a major flare-up in violence with Azerbaijan. In a statement, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said “the government has decided to declare martial law and a total mobilization”, telling citizens to “get ready to defend our sacred homeland”.
Armenia has accused Azerbaijan of attacking civilian settlements in the Nagorno-Karabakh region. Reportedly, the Armenian military has downed two helicopters of Azerbaijan’s air force in a counter-attack.
Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev, in a televised address to the nation, said that “there are losses among the Azerbaijani forces and the civilian population as a result of the Armenian bombardment”.
The development is likely to engage other regional states in the conflict. Turkey’s Foreign Ministry has condemned Armenian attacks by terming it a provocation that will have regional implications. “We condemn in the strongest terms the Armenian attack which is a blatant violation of international law and has caused civilian casualties. With these attacks, Armenia has shown once again that it is the biggest obstacle on the road to peace and stability in the region," it added.
“If Azerbaijan wants us to support them, we will do so," the Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesperson noted further.
Russia has called for an immediate ceasefire and the start of a dialogue between the two countries. “We are calling on the sides to immediately halt fire and begin talks to stabilize the situation,” Russia’s foreign ministry said.
Earlier this year, clashes between the two countries' militaries resulted in the death of at least 17 soldiers from both sides.