Armenian troops killed in horror attack by Azerbaijan
Armenia: Huge cloud of smoke seen after explosion
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The surprise attack launched by Azerbaijan is the worst fighting between the two nations since the agreement was signed.
President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan warned Armenia just days before the attack of the possibility of aggression.
Russia is a big ally of Armenia but is currently distracted as it continues to lose its battle in Ukraine following a remarkably successful counter-offensive which has seen Russian troops and equipment fail against Ukrainian forces.
The Defence Ministry in Armenia stated on Tuesday that troops from Azerbaijan employed the use of heavy artillery, drones, and small arms to target towns to the east of Armenia outside Nagorno Karabakh which was the centre of the long-running conflict.
According to reports, Monday’s attack saw at least 39 Armenian troops killed in the worst attack since the 2020 ceasefire.
Moscow acted as the mediator when it came to drawing up the ceasefire which ended the conflict over Azerbaijan’s breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh region and approximately 2,000 Russian peacekeepers remain there.
Footage has also emerged from Armenia claiming to show troops from Azerbaijan attempting to cross the border into Armenia.
According to Azerbaijan, forces were retaliating after Armenia provoked its opponent by reportedly planting landmines near Azerbaijani supply lines.
In a recent conference call with heads of state including Vladimir Putin, Armenia’s Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, said he was concerned that Azerbaijan may launch an attack while Putin is fighting in Ukraine.
Pashinyan said: “While the world’s attention and Russia, our main security partner, is fully focused in Ukraine we have fears that this might trigger destabilisation in the (South Caucasus) region.”
Speaking in Parliament on Tuesday of the attack, Mr Pashinyan said that the number of dead and injured is thought to rise and “we have to not that, unfortunately, that number is not final”.
The US Secretary of State Antony Blinken noted how the United State is “deeply concerned” about the attacks and encouraged “the immediate cessation of hostilities between Armenia and Azerbaijan”.
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Meanwhile, the authorities in Armenia appealed to Russia, the Collective Security Treaty Organisation, and the UN Security Council to step in.
In a statement on Tuesday morning by the Armenian Defence Ministry, talks between Armenian defence minister Suren Papikyan and his Russian equal Sergei Shoigu have proved fruitful with both agreeing to take steps to “stabilize the situation”.
President Putin’s spokesperson Dmitry Peskov added that the Russian president is “making every effort to contribute to the de-escalation of tensions on the border”.
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