Armenia’s parliament condemns ‘full-scale military attack’ by Azerbaijan

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Azerbaijan soldiers fire from a mortar at the contact line of the self-proclaimed Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh in this image taken from footage released by Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry. (Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry via AP)
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Volunteers of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation gather to leave for the Nagorny-Karabah region in Yerevan, Armenia, Sept. 27, 2020. (EPA)
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A civilian injured during clashes in the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh. (Foreign Ministry of Armenia/Reuters)
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Video released by Azerbaijan's Defense Ministry on Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020, Azerbaijan's forces destroy Armenian anti-aircraft system at the contact line of the self-proclaimed Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh, Azerbaijan. Fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan broke out Sunday around the separatist region of Nagorno-Karabakh and the Armenian Defense Ministry said two Azerbaijani helicopters were shot down. Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev said in a televised address to the nation that "there are losses among the Azerbaijani forces and the civilian population as a result of the Armenian bombardment" but did not give further details. (Armenian's Defense Ministry via AP)
Short Url
Updated 28 September 2020

Armenia’s parliament condemns ‘full-scale military attack’ by Azerbaijan

  • Saudi Arabia calls on both sides to cease fire
  • Turkey has said it will support Azerbaijan in the clashes

YEREVAN: Armenia’s parliament on Monday condemned what it said was a “full-scale military attack” by Azerbaijan on the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh and said Turkey’s involvement in the crisis could risk destabilizing the region.

“The international community should take active steps to prevent not only aggression by Azerbaijan, but also Turkey’s ambitions to be involved in the ... conflict which will lead to the region’s destabilization,” parliament speaker Ararat Mirzoyan said.

Azerbaijani and Armenian forces battled for a second day after dozens were killed in an outbreak of heavy fighting that has raised fears of an all-out war between the longtime enemies.

Defense officials in both countries confirmed that intense clashes had continued overnight after erupting on Sunday along the frontlines of Nagorny Karabakh, an ethnic Armenian region that has broken away from Azerbaijan.

The separatists said on Monday that 15 more of their fighters had been killed, bringing the total reported death toll from both sides to 39.

With each side blaming the other for the latest fighting, world leaders have urged calm as fears rise of a full-scale conflict that could draw in regional powers Russia and Turkey.

Saudi Arabia expressed their worry about the situation and called on both sides to cease fire and seek peaceful solutions to the conflict, state news agency SPA reported on Monday.

Turkey meanwhile said that Armenia must stop its occupation of Azerbaijan’s lands and send back the “mercenaries and terrorists” it brought from abroad for stability in the Nagorno-Karabakh region.

“Armenia must immediately halt its attacks, send back the mercenaries and terrorists it brought from abroad and withdraw from the Azerbaijan lands,” said Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar, adding a ceasefire and peace are needed.

Turkey has said it will support Azerbaijan in the clashes, in which fierce fire was exchanged for a second day amid reports of at least 21 killed and hundreds wounded. Yerevan said Turkey was taking part in the clashes, but Baku denies this.

Ex-Soviet Armenia and Azerbaijan have been locked in a territorial dispute over Nagorny Karabakh for decades, with deadly fighting flaring up earlier this year and in 2016.

The region declared its independence after a war in the early 1990s that claimed 30,000 lives but is not recognized by any country — including Armenia — and is still considered part of Azerbaijan by the international community.

The Karabakh defense ministry said on Monday 32 of its fighters had been killed in the latest clashes. Seven civilian fatalities were reported earlier, including an Azerbaijani family of five and a woman and child on the Armenian side.


American air strike kills five Taliban fighters: US official

Updated 26 October 2020

American air strike kills five Taliban fighters: US official

  • Violence has escalated in recent weeks with clashes taking place between the insurgents and government troops across the country
KABUL: A US air strike launched to support Afghan security forces killed five Taliban fighters in central Afghanistan on Sunday evening, a spokesman for US forces in Afghanistan said.
Violence has escalated in recent weeks with clashes taking place between the insurgents and government troops across the country, while negotiators from both sides have held talks in Qatar for a peace deal that could allow Washington to withdraw its remaining forces and end the United States’ longest war. Col. Sonny Leggett, the US military spokesman in Kabul, said the air strike in Wardak province was conducted to defend Afghan government troops and targeted Taliban fighters, killing five.
He said the action was in accordance with terms of the United States withdrawal agreement struck with the Taliban in February.
“We reject the allegations of violating the agreement and of killing innocent Afghans,” Leggett said, without elaborating.
When asked for comment, a Taliban spokesman said that there had been no fighting when the strike took place, and it broke the terms of agreement.
“This attack is a violation of the agreement and we condemn it,” spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said.
Earlier this month, the Taliban accused the United States of violating the agreement following air strikes in southern Helmand province, where government forces were desperately trying to repel hundreds of insurgents seeking to seize control of the provincial capital Laskhar Gah.
Diplomats and officials say the rising violence is undermining trust needed if the talks in Qatar are to succeed.
The United States’ special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad said earlier this month that he had met with Taliban representatives to agree to a ‘re-set’ of the US-Taliban deal in order to reduce the violence.
The Taliban has so far rejected repeated calls for a cease-fire by foreign powers and the Afghan government.