99 dead in border fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan

Armenia and Azerbaijan accused each other of fresh rounds of shelling on Wednesday morning as hostilities flared up between the two longtime adversaries.

The Armenian Defense Ministry accused Azerbaijani forces of launching combat drones towards the Armenian resort of Jermuk overnight and renewed artillery and mortar shelling towards the village of Jermuk and Verin Shorzha near Lake Sevan in the morning.

The Azerbaijani military, in turn, accused the Armenian forces of shelling their positions in the Kalbajar and Lachin districts of the separatist Narogno-Karabakh regions.

Fighting broke out on the border between Armenia and Azerbaijan on Tuesday, killing a total of about 100 soldiers. Armenia said at least 49 of its soldiers were killed; Azerbaijan said it lost 50.

The two countries are locked in a decades-long conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh, which is part of Azerbaijan but has been under the control of ethnic Armenian-backed Armenian forces since the end of a separatist war in 1994.

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan delivers his speech to the National Assembly of Armenia
The Armenian Defense Ministry accused the Azerbaijani armed forces of directing combat drones towards Jermuk.

Azerbaijan retook much of Nagorno-Karabakh in 2020 in a six-week war that killed more than 6,600 people and ended in a Russian-brokered peace deal. Moscow deployed about 2,000 troops to the region to serve as peacekeepers under the deal.

The Russian Foreign Ministry on Tuesday called on both parties “to refrain from further escalation and to exercise restraint”. Moscow has performed a delicate balancing act to maintain friendly relations with both former Soviet states. It has strong economic and security ties with Armenia, which hosts a Russian military base, and has also developed close cooperation with oil-rich Azerbaijan.

The international community also urged calm.

The Armenian government said it would formally seek assistance from Russia as part of a friendship treaty between the countries, and would also reach out to the United Nations and the Collective Security Treaty Organization, a Moscow-dominated security coalition of former Soviet states.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov declined to comment on Armenia’s request, but added during a conference call with reporters that Putin was “making every effort to help de-escalate tensions.” 99 dead in border fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan


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