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World Azeris, Armenians Plunge Into War as Russia, Turkey Watch

10:02  28 september  2020
10:02  28 september  2020 Source:   bloomberg.com

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The Azeri army is using tanks, artillery, missile systems and aircraft against Armenian positions near the front line and deeper into Armenian -held Armenia dismissed the claim as groundless and accused Aliyev of preparing for a war. The fighting “is a war against our independence, freedom and

As Azerbaijan and Armenia lock horns over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region, their media machines are rolling out videos, each purportedly The footage was filmed by a reconnaissance drone. Meanwhile, the Armenian Defense Ministry published a video of an attack on a pair of infantry

(Bloomberg) -- Intense fighting between Azeri and Armenian forces continued Monday after a simmering decades-long conflict over disputed land erupted into war in the strategically significant region.

a sunset over a fire: Azerbaijani Special Forces are seen during a comprehensive military exercises of the air and land forces of Azerbaijan while Armenian attacks continue in Baku, Azerbaijan on September 24, 2020. © Photographer: Anadolu Agency/Anadolu Azerbaijani Special Forces are seen during a comprehensive military exercises of the air and land forces of Azerbaijan while Armenian attacks continue in Baku, Azerbaijan on September 24, 2020.

“We’re looking at it very strongly,” President Donald Trump told reporters at the White House Sunday, hours after clashes began over the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh. “We’ll see if we can stop it.”

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Armenia followed suit later in the day, obliging all men of conscription age to report to their nearest recruitment offices. Martial law has also been declared, with Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan telling compatriots to “be ready to defend our sacred homeland.”

Russia is concerned with the developments and believes that the immediate goal is to cease hostilities, the Kremlin said in a statement. Russia is part of the mediation group of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), working to tone down the tensions between Azerbaijan and

Russia and international organizations including NATO, the European Union and the OSCE also called on both sides to halt fighting. Turkey backed its ally Azerbaijan and said it was ready to offer assistance. French President Emmanuel Macron spoke to the Armenian and Azeri leaders Sunday to urge them to restore a cease-fire.

Conflict has broken out repeatedly in the Caucasus region since Armenians took control of Nagorno-Karabakh and seven surrounding districts from Azerbaijan in a war after the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991. Hundreds died in 2016 before Russia pressured both sides to resume a cease-fire it first brokered in 1994. Armenia and Azerbaijan clashed again across their state border in July.

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  Democrats warn Turkey over involvement in Azerbaijan-Armenia conflict Congressional Democrats are warning Turkey against getting involved in the contested southern caucus territory of Nagorno-Karabakh, where renewed fighting between Azerbaijan and Armenia threatens a wider regional conflict.Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said in a statement Tuesday that "the influence of external actors such as Turkey recklessly meddling in the conflict is troubling" and called for allRep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said in a statement Tuesday that "the influence of external actors such as Turkey recklessly meddling in the conflict is troubling" and called for all sides to end hostilities and resume negotiations.

“ Turkey ’s aggressive behavior is a serious cause for concern,” Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said in a televised address to the nation on Sunday. Pashinyan also accused Baku of declaring “a war on the Armenian people” and blamed Azerbaijan for triggering the current hostilities.

Azerbaijan insists that the shots came from the Armenian side and that it was only retaliating. Baku also announced martial law later in the day. Armenia and Azerbaijan fought a bloody war over it in the 1990s, with subsequent border clashes sporadically erupting between the sides despite a ceasefire.

Russia and Turkey have links to different sides, adding to tensions between them over proxy conflicts in Syria and Libya. Russia has a mutual-defense pact with Armenia and a military base in the republic, while Azerbaijan hosted large-scale joint military exercises with Turkish forces last month.

The region contains energy and transport projects that connect central Asia to Europe bypassing Russia, including a BP Plc-operated oil pipeline that runs less than 50 kilometers (30 miles) from the conflict zone and carries as much as 1.2 million barrels daily from Baku to Turkey’s Ceyhan. While it hasn’t been targeted in previous conflicts, the pipeline may be vulnerable to any shift in the fighting between Armenian and Azeri forces.

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan declared martial law and ordered a general mobilization, after accusing Azerbaijan of “pre-planned aggression.” Azeri President Ilham Aliyev, who also announced martial law, said in a state TV address that Armenian forces were occupying Azerbaijan’s territory and “we’ll put an end to this occupation.”

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called on Armenians to unite in opposition to their government, which he claims is the “biggest threat” to peace Erdogan urged the people of Armenia to safeguard their future from their country’s leadership, which he claimed is using them like “puppets.”

Turkey backs Azerbaijan , while Russia supports Armenia . " Turkey will never hesitate to stand against any attack on the rights and lands of Azerbaijan " Russian - Turkish talks in April on gas prices ended without success,” Gasimov said. “ Azerbaijan , Iran, and Qatar are set to become as prominent as

Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed “serious concern about the renewal of large-scale military conflict” and called for a halt to hostilities in a phone call Sunday with Pashinyan, according to a Kremlin statement.

“Turkey stands by its Azeri brothers with all its means,” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Twitter after he spoke with Aliyev.

Despite decades of mediation by the U.S., France and Russia, the two sides have never signed a peace agreement. Armenia says the right of the internationally unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh Republic to self-determination should be respected, while Azerbaijan says its territorial integrity must be upheld.

The Azeri Defense Ministry said its forces destroyed 22 Armenian tanks and other armored vehicles as well as 15 air-defense systems and 18 drones. It said it took some territory north of Nagorno-Karabakh without loss of any of its troops in the fighting, while five civilians died.

At least 31 Armenian servicemen and two civilians died, the Nagorno-Karabakh Defense Ministry said, while its forces hit 33 Azeri tanks, four helicopters and 27 drones. A number of positions that had been lost during intense battles were restored, Arayik Harutyunyan, the Nagorno-Karabakh president, said.

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The Azeri side accused Armenia of attacking its forces and forcing its hand in launching a counter offensive operation. Yerevan rejected the allegation and said Baku broke a ceasefire agreement in an unprovoked act of aggression. There are conflicting reports about the situation on the ground.

Both Armenia and Azerbaijan were part of the Soviet Union before its collapse in the 1990s. Since then they have been stuck in an unresolved conflict over a Azerbaijan 's military said it had destroyed an Armenian fortification and artillery and had inflicted casualties on "hundreds" of Armenian troops.

Armenia should “seriously discuss” recognition of Nagorno-Karabakh’s independence as a response to the renewed conflict, Pashinyan told lawmakers in parliament.

While it provides military and financial support to Nagorno-Karabakh, Armenia has held back from recognizing the territory’s independence through decades of talks led by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe to try to negotiate a settlement of the conflict.

NATO ‘Concerned’

The OSCE called for a cease-fire and the resumption of negotiations. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization said it was “deeply concerned” by the fighting in a statement.

The conflict comes after tensions between the two sides rose sharply last week, when Aliyev alleged that Armenia was massing forces near Nagorno-Karabakh for a new war. Armenia dismissed the claim as groundless and accused Aliyev of preparing for a war.

The fighting “is a war against our independence, freedom and dignity,” Pashinyan said in a televised address to the nation. “The Armenian people are ready for that war.”

Azeri forces are “fighting on our soil, and have no claim to anyone’s land,” Aliyev said in his speech. “We’ll win because our cause is just.”

(Updates with Trump in second paragraph, fighting in 10th, 11th paragraphs)

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