Azerbaijan on Saturday accused Armenia of putting its second-largest metropolis with a ballistic missile that killed not less than 13 civilians and wounded 50 others in a brand new escalation of their battle over Nagorno-Karabakh.
The Armenian Defence Ministry denied launching the strike, however the separatist authorities in Nagorno-Karabakh put out a press release itemizing alleged “legitimate” army amenities within the metropolis of Ganja, though they stopped wanting claiming duty for the assault.
Azerbaijani officers stated 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 identified for his or her lack of precision.
Strike denounced as conflict crime
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 will face duty.
“Azerbaijan will give its response and it will do so exclusively on the battlefield,” Aliyev stated.
While authorities in each Azerbaijan and Armenia have denied concentrating on civilians, residential areas have more and more come beneath shelling amid the hostilities which have raged for 3 weeks, regardless of Russia’s try to dealer a ceasefire.
Nagorno-Karabakh lies inside Azerbaijan however has been beneath the management of ethnic Armenian forces backed by Armenia since a conflict there led to 1994.
The newest outburst of combating that started on Sept. 27 has concerned heavy artillery, rockets and drones, marking the most important escalation of hostilities between the South Caucasus neighbours in additional than a quarter-century.
Stepanakert, the regional capital of Nagorno-Karabakh, got here beneath intense shelling in a single day, leaving three civilians wounded, in keeping with separatist authorities.
Aliyev introduced Saturday that Azerbaijani forces have taken the city of Fizuli and 7 villages round it, gaining a “strategic edge.”
Fizuli is without doubt one of the seven Azerbaijani areas outdoors Nagorno-Karabakh that was seized by the Armenian forces in the course of the conflict within the early 1990s.
Ceasefire deal unravels
Russia, which has a safety pact with Armenia however has cultivated heat ties with Azerbaijan, a former Soviet republic, hosted high diplomats from each international locations for greater than 10 hours of talks that ended with Saturday’s ceasefire deal. But the settlement instantly frayed, with each side blaming one another for breaching it.
Azerbaijani authorities stated Saturday that 60 civilians have been killed and 270 have been wounded since Sept. 27, however they have not revealed army losses. Separatist authorities stated greater than 600 Nagorno-Karabakh troopers and over 30 civilians have been killed in three weeks of hostilities.
Azerbaijan has insisted it has the correct to reclaim its land by power after efforts by the so-called Minsk group of worldwide mediators — comprising Russia, the United States and France — did not yield any progress after almost three many years. Azerbaijan has actively pushed for its ally Turkey to take a distinguished position in future peace talks.
Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar spoke on the telephone along with his Azerbaijani counterpart, congratulating Azerbaijan on “liberating Fizuli from the occupation” and downing Armenian jets.
WATCH | Rescuers search after lethal rocket assault:
The Azerbaijani army declared Saturday that it downed an Armenian Su-25 jet, a declare rapidly dismissed by Armenia’s Defence Ministry.
The Armenian army stated it downed three Azerbaijani drones over the territory of Armenia on Saturday. Azerbaijan denied that.
Drones and rocket techniques equipped by Turkey have given the Azerbaijani army an edge on the battlefield, serving to outgun the Armenian forces that rely totally on outdated Soviet-era weapons.