- Hundreds of people were killed in the clashes.
- It is the deadliest atrocity in the area since a six-year ceasefire ended in 1994.
- The United States, France, and Russia still have a peace mechanism under their surveillance.
Armenia has accused Azerbaijan of violating the ceasefire just minutes after it took effect in the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region. The ceasefire was agreed upon at midnight local time on Saturday. A spokesman for Armenia’s defense ministry said Azerbaijan had violated the ceasefire by firing artillery shells and rockets just four minutes after it took effect.
Azerbaijan has not yet commented on the allegations. The ceasefire agreement was also signed last weekend after a number of agreements were reached. However, the conflict continues.
The war began last month over an area that is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan but is managed by ethnic Armenians. Hundreds of people were killed in the clashes.
It is the deadliest atrocity in the area since a six-year ceasefire ended in 1994 with a ceasefire. Earlier on Saturday, the two countries exchanged accusations of violating the Russian-brokered ceasefire. Such suspicions are expected to continue after this statement.
What Is the Latest Agreement?
Both countries have agreed to a humanitarian ceasefire, although no details have been released. Azerbaijan’s foreign ministry said the decision was based on statements made by the presidents of the United States, France, and Russia.
An organization called the OSCE Minsk Group was formed in 1992 under the leadership of the three countries to mediate the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
Armenian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Anna Naghdaliyan echoed the same sentiment in a tweet, saying the country welcomed the “ceasefire and easing of tensions” in the war zone.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who mediated the agreement last week, has spoken to the foreign ministers of the two countries. He told them that the two countries should “strictly adhere” to the terms of the previous agreement.
What Is Happening on the Battlefield?
“The enemy fired artillery shells at the north at 12:04 pm local time on Saturday and fired rockets at the south between 02:20 pm and 02:45 pm local time,” Armenian Defense Ministry spokesman Sushan Stepanian wrote on Twitter.
Azerbaijan claims that Armenia fired missiles into the town of Ganja on Saturday morning, killing 13 civilians and wounding 45 others. The city of Ganja is also said to be far from the battlefield.
The Foreign Ministry said in a statement that Armenia was “arbitrarily targeting civilians.” Armenia has denied the allegations in a statement issued Friday stating “similar, baseless allegations concerning Armenia have been made more than once.
Ms. Stepanian posted a video on Facebook claiming that debris was seen in the Nagorno-Karabakh area. He alleges that Azerbaijan’s military is launching missile attacks on civilian areas, including Stipanakart, the capital of Nagorno-Karabakh.
The big picture: since the latest combat started in late September, hundreds of troops and thousands of civilians have been killed.
The most recent conflict in the area has taken place in the past several years and begun with organized airstrikes and missiles from Azerbaijan late last month, which reported that Armenian powers were planning an offensive.
The background: the mountainous territory of Nagorno-Karabakh contains some 150,000 inhabitants, mostly of Armenian ethnicity, but is situated on the frontiers of Azerbaijan.
Both countries have claimed the region after the Soviet Union fell, waged a war against it between 1992 and 1994, and have been at the center of further dispute since then.
While numerous, earlier skirmishes generally left the stalemate intact. The United States, France, and Russia still have a peace mechanism under their surveillance.