Armenia, Azerbaijan Trade Accusations of Shelling Despite Truce

Joseph B. Hash

MOSCOW—Armenia and Azerbaijan accused just about every other of extreme shelling on Sunday, denting hopes that a Russia-brokered stop-hearth introduced the previous working day will maintain subsequent two weeks of intense clashes in excess of the disputed enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh. Azerbaijan reported that overnight shelling by Armenian forces on the […]

MOSCOW—Armenia and Azerbaijan accused just about every other of extreme shelling on Sunday, denting hopes that a Russia-brokered stop-hearth introduced the previous working day will maintain subsequent two weeks of intense clashes in excess of the disputed enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh.

Azerbaijan reported that overnight shelling by Armenian forces on the metropolis of Ganja had still left numerous folks lifeless and dozens injured. Armenia reported that it was abiding by the truce and, in flip, accused Azerbaijan of attacking civilian regions.

The stop-hearth, reached early Saturday following talks in Moscow, was meant to provide place to exchange prisoners and get well the lifeless. The negotiations represented the very first significant-amount get in touch with among Yerevan and Baku considering that battling in excess of the mountainous enclave—roughly the dimensions of Delaware—erupted on Sept. 27, killing hundreds of folks and displacing hundreds.

Managed by ethnic Armenians but internationally acknowledged as a element of Azerbaijan, Nagorno-Karabakh has been a flashpoint among the two nations around the world considering that the several years subsequent the collapse of the Soviet Union. A 6-yr war that finished in a 1994 stop-hearth claimed some thirty,000 lives. The greatly militarized area has viewed on-all over again, off-all over again skirmishes considering that.

Just about every facet has blamed the other for triggering the existing outbreak of hostilities. Armenia reported that 429 of its soldiers had been killed in the battling so far, even though Azerbaijan has not disclosed how a lot of of its troops have been killed. Baku reported that 41 Azeri civilians have been killed and 205 have been injured.

On Sunday, Azerbaijan reported that Armenia attacked a household spot in Ganja, its second-most significant metropolis, in the early morning. The Azeri prosecutor general’s business office reported nine folks had been killed and 34 injured in the assault.

Footage shows shelling and civilians fleeing villages as battling among Armenia and Azerbaijan intensifies in the disputed area of Nagorno-Karabakh. WSJ’s Ann Simmons clarifies the threats of a complete-scale war. Photo: Sergei Bobylev/Zuma Press

Authorities in Nagorno-Karabakh named the report “an complete lie” and accused Azerbaijan of continuing to assault populated regions, including Stepanakert, the region’s cash. Armenian officers reported the enclave’s forces could stage up their reaction.

“If Azerbaijan continues to violate the stop-hearth and launch offensive functions, [Nagorno-Karabakh’s army] reaction will be disproportionately tough,” Armenian Protection Ministry spokesperson Shushan Stepanyan wrote on

Fb.

Azerbaijan on Saturday reported that the truce was temporary and reiterated it won’t renege on its goal to retake command of Nagorno-Karabakh. “Now we have reached a political settlement that will make sure that we attain the end and get what rightfully belongs to us,” Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev instructed Russian media outlet RBC.

The newest bout in the decadeslong conflict has stoked fears of a complete-blown war embroiling regional powers Russia and Turkey and destabilizing an spot that serves as an crucial electrical power corridor for world-wide markets.

For Russia, which has shut ties with the two Armenia and Azerbaijan, the conflict will come as a sequence of crises in its sphere of affect are upending the Kremlin’s plans for further economic and protection ties with the former Soviet republics.

A prosperous stop-hearth would total to a diplomatic feat and enable solidify Moscow’s role as a mediator in the area. The truce introduced Saturday followed cellphone phone calls among Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Armenian and Azeri leaders, following which the Kremlin leader named for halting the hostilities on humanitarian grounds.

Russia, alongside with the U.S. and France, is foremost the mediation as element of the Corporation for Protection and Cooperation in Europe’s Minsk Team.

For the duration of the existing flare-up in battling, Turkey also intervened, throwing its assist behind Azerbaijan, with which it shares ethnic and cultural ties. Turkey is already included in two proxy conflicts with Russia—in Libya, exactly where it is supporting the internationally acknowledged govt from rebels backed by Russia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, and in Syria, exactly where Moscow is a staunch ally of President Bashar al-Assad.

Produce to Georgi Kantchev at [email protected]

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