Fighting has broken out again in the Nagorno-Karabakh region of the South Caucasus. Azerbaijan and Armenia blame each other. The two countries had previously taken steps to de-escalate.
In the bloody Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in the South Caucasus, fighting continues regardless of new agreements on de-escalation. Armenia and Azerbaijan each reported attacks on inhabited areas on Sunday. According to the Armenian Ministry of Defense in the capital Yerevan, the city of Martuni was shelled that morning by the army of Azerbaijan. There was extensive damage, a spokeswoman said, without giving details. Accordingly, there were initially no injuries.
The Azerbaijani Ministry of Defense in Baku, for its part, spoke of attacks by the opponent on the city of Terter and on several villages. In addition, positions of its own army on the state border between Armenia and Azerbaijan came under attack. Both sides once again blamed each other for breaking the ceasefire.
Armenia asks Russia for help
On Friday, the foreign ministers of both countries pledged, through the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) in Geneva, Switzerland, to avoid attacks on residential areas and civilian facilities. Armenia has also officially asked Russia for help with the conflict. Several attempts to pause the fire had previously failed.
There has been fierce fighting since the end of September. The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict itself has existed for decades. Azerbaijan lost control of the area of about 145,000 inhabitants in a war following the collapse of the Soviet Union about 30 years ago. There has been a vulnerable ceasefire since 1994. The region is controlled by Armenia, but under international law belongs to the Islamic Azerbaijan, which can rely on its “brother state” of Turkey in the conflict. Russia is Armenia’s protective force.