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Entertainment At least 39 dead after 24 hours of armed clashes in Nagorno-Karabakh

17:30  28 september  2020
17:30  28 september  2020 Source:   nouvelobs.com

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  Au moins 39 morts après 24 heures d’affrontements armés dans le Haut-Karabakh © Copyright 2020, L'Obs

At least 39 people died in 24 hours in separatist fighting in Nagorno Karabakh - a region of Azerbaijan populated by Armenians and called in French Nagorno-Karabakh - supported by Armenia, with Azerbaijan, according to reports announced Monday, September 28, clashes raising fears of an open war between Baku and Yerevan.

All regional and world powers (Russia, United States, France, Iran, EU), except Turkey, ally of Baku, capital of Azerbaijan, called for an immediate cessation of hostilities.

The Nagorno-Karabakh Defense Ministry has acknowledged the death of 32 soldiers since Sunday morning and the start of hostilities in the separatist Azerbaijani region. This territory has escaped Baku's control since a war in the early 1990s which left 30,000 dead.

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Five Azerbaijani civilians and two Armenian civilians from Nagorno Karabakh also died, according to data released on Sunday.

A much heavier balance sheet?

Azerbaijan has not announced its military losses. The toll could be much higher, however, with both sides claiming to have inflicted hundreds of casualties on the opponent, broadcasting images of the destruction inflicted. Baku claims to have killed 550 enemy soldiers, and Yerevan claims to have eliminated more than 200.

The Nagorno-Karabakh Defense Ministry told it to have regained positions lost the day before, but Azerbaijan on the contrary claimed to have made new ones. territorial gains.

The Azerbaijani armed forces "strike enemy positions with rockets, artillery and air force (...) and have taken several strategic positions on the outskirts of the village of Talych", said the country's defense ministry. Caucasus which has spent lavishly on armaments in recent years thanks to its oil manna. "The enemy is retreating," he said.

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He also accused the opposing forces of bombing civilian positions in the Azerbaijani locality of Terter.

Ankara accused of political interference

After weeks of war rhetoric, Azerbaijan said it launched a major "counter-offensive" on Sunday in response to an Armenian "aggression", using its artillery, armor and aerial bombardment on the province which has eluded him since the fall of the USSR.

These fights, the deadliest since 2016, have provoked international concern, with Russia, France and the United States (the three mediators of the conflict within the Minsk Group) calling for a ceasefire and negotiations.

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian accused his historic enemy of "declaring war on the Armenian people", while Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev pledged to "win".

Turkey has indicated its full support for Azerbaijan, as Yerevan and the separatists accused Ankara of political and military interference, believing that Turkish mercenaries and weapons were deployed. “Turkey is fighting Nagorny Karabakh, not just Azerbaijan. There are Turkish helicopters, F-16s and troops and mercenaries from different countries, ”said the president of this self-proclaimed Republic Araïk Haroutiounian Sunday evening.

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Martial law

Moscow, which maintains cordial relations with the two belligerents and represents the great regional arbiter, called for an immediate cessation of hostilities, through the voice of Vladimir Poutine. Russia remains closer to Armenia, the two countries belonging to the same Moscow-dominated military alliance, the Collective Security Treaty Organization.

All the mediation efforts of the Minsk Group have failed to resolve this conflict and outbreaks of violence occur regularly in Nagorny Karabakh, as in 2016. In July 2020, Armenians and Azerbaijanis clashed for several days at their northern border. The brief escalation had also raised fears of a lasting conflict and has been a testament to growing tensions for months.

The two states also declared martial law and Armenia general mobilization. Azerbaijan is imposing a curfew across part of the country, including the capital Baku.

An open war between the two countries raises fears of a serious destabilization of the region, in particular if Turkey and Russia, which have divergent interests in the South Caucasus, intervene in the conflict.

How the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict has been shaped by past empires .
A fateful decision by Stalin, and divisions drawn by the Soviet Union, still reverberate in a historic conflict that has recently re-erupted on the battlefields of the Caucasus.Residents of Stepanakert, the capital of the self-declared Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, enter a building damaged by a missile attack on October 3, 2020. While the majority population of the territory is ethnic Armenian, it is considered part of Azerbaijan by most of the international community.

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