Azerbaijan announced the start of an “anti-terrorist operation” in Nagorno-Karabakh

Liza Brovko

The Ministry of Defense of Azerbaijan announced the beginning of the "anti-terrorist operation" in Nagorno-Karabakh. The declared goal is "restoration of the constitutional order."

The agency has already announced victims from the Azerbaijani side. Cars with civilians and military personnel were blown up by landmines in the area of the Ahmedbeyli — Fizuli — Shusha road. Two soldiers were also wounded by mortar fire.

The Ministry of Defense claims that Armenian troops are firing artillery from positions where the Russian peacekeeping contingent is stationed. They are shelling Azerbaijani positions in the Aghdam direction.

The Defense Department of Armenia denies the shelling and says it is disinformation.

The media report on the shelling of the capital of the unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh Republic — the city of Stepanakert.

  • In 1991, Nagorno-Karabakh, with the support of Armenia, declared independence from Azerbaijan. This led to hostilities that lasted until 1994. The armed conflict ended with the signing of the Bishkek Protocol on Armistice and Ceasefire, but armed clashes occur periodically between the parties. Nagorno-Karabakh is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan, but it is inhabited by Armenians.
  • On September 27, 2020, the largest military conflict in recent years broke out in Nagorno-Karabakh, which lasted for a month and a half. The sides used tanks, heavy artillery and aviation. Approximately seven thousand people died during the conflict.
  • On the night of November 10, representatives of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia (as a mediator) signed a statement on ending the war in Karabakh. 1 960 Russian peacekeepers were deployed along the contact line in Nagorno-Karabakh. Azerbaijan won the right to occupy three districts — Kelbajar, Aghdam, and Lachin.
  • Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan informed that this decision was very difficult for him, but there was no alternative. President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev claimed that Pashinyan was "forced" to sign a document that was "maximum beneficial" for Baku. The text of the agreement does not mention the status of the remaining territories of Nagorno-Karabakh at all.
  • After 2020, Azerbaijan and Armenia held peace talks with the mediation of Russia, but to no avail. Armenia also constantly accused the Russian peacekeepers of failing to fulfill their duties, and Azerbaijan put pressure on Armenia to fulfill the agreements, in particular by shelling the border regions. After the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the European Union, in particular France, became involved in the settlement of the Karabash conflict. Through the mediation of the EU, Armenia and Azerbaijan have come as close as possible to a peace agreement. The countries are ready to recognize each otherʼs territorial integrity, in particular to recognize Nagorno-Karabakh as the territory of Azerbaijan. But Pashinyan said that this will happen if the security issue of Armenians in that region is resolved.