Simmering tensions between neighbours spill into combating that leaves dozens useless and prompts fears of wider escalation.
Armenia and Azerbaijan have traded blame for clashes that erupted alongside the international locations’ border, in what’s the deadliest fighting between the rival neighbours since their 2020 battle over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh area.
In line with Armenia’s defence ministry, the hostilities erupted within the early hours of Tuesday morning when Azerbaijani forces unleashed cross-border assaults utilizing “artillery, mortars, drones and large-calibre rifles” that killed at the least 49 Armenian troops.
The ministry stated the assaults had focused each navy and civilian infrastructure in and round a number of cities and villages, together with Vardenis, Sotk, Artanish, Ishkhanasar, Goris, Jermuk and Kapan, forcing it to reply.
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan linked the incidents with the simmering, decades-old dispute over the standing of Nagorno-Karabakh, saying the Azeri authorities didn’t wish to negotiate over the enclave, which lies inside Azerbaijan however is especially populated by ethnic Armenians.
However Azerbaijan denied instigating the combating, claiming its troops had responded to “large-scale provocations” by the Armenian navy.
It stated Armenian forces had fired at Azerbaijani navy positions within the Dashkasan, Kalbajar and Lachin areas, leading to unspecified casualties and harm to navy infrastructure, after increase shares of weapons alongside the border and making an attempt to mine Azerbaijani positions.
Azerbaijan didn’t present a casualty determine.
Because the combating appeared to gradual afterward Tuesday, an announcement issued by the workplace of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev stated the nation’s armed forces had been answerable for the “scenario alongside the border”. Armenia’s defence ministry, in the meantime, warned the scenario in some border areas remained “extraordinarily tense”.
Al Jazeera was unable to independently confirm the battlefield accounts from both facet.
The outbreak of combating has sparked fears of one other full-fledged battle between the 2 rival states, prompting calls from an array of overseas powers for a direct finish to hostilities.
Russia, which is the principle energy dealer within the Caucasus and an ally of Armenia via the Russian-led Collective Safety Treaty Group (CSTO), stated it had brokered a ceasefire settlement at 9am Moscow time (06:00 GMT) and known as on each side to stay to the deal.
Moscow oversaw an earlier ceasefire deal in November 2020 to finish Armenia and Azerbaijan’s battle over Nagorno-Karabakh and deployed nearly 2,000 peacekeepers to the area as a part of the settlement.
The 2020 battle, which killed greater than 6,500 folks in just a little over six weeks, noticed Azerbaijan efficiently win back swaths of territory in and round Nagorno-Karabakh that had been managed by ethnic Armenian forces backed by Yerevan since an earlier battle within the space resulted in 1994.
The US, France and the European Union, that are at odds with Russia over the latter’s invasion of Ukraine, additionally known as on Azerbaijan and Armenia to look at restraint within the wake of the most recent clashes.
However Azerbaijan’s ally Turkey reiterated its help for the federal government in Baku.
Mevlut Cavusoglu, Turkey’s overseas minister, known as on Armenia to “stop its provocations and give attention to peace negotiations and cooperation with Azerbaijan” following talks by telephone together with his Azerbaijani counterpart Jeyhun Bayramov.