Armenian officers and Azerbaijan on Saturday accused one another of breaching a peace deal that ended six weeks of fierce combating over Nagorno-Karabakh, with Azerbaijan’s chief threatening to crush Armenian forces with an “iron fist”.
The brand new clashes mark the primary important breach of the peace deal brokered by Russia on 10 November which noticed Azerbaijan reclaim management over broad swathes of Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding lands which had been held by Armenian forces for greater than 1 / 4 of a century.
Separatist officers in Nagorno-Karabakh stated the Azerbaijani navy launched an assault late on Friday that left three native ethnic Armenian servicemen wounded.
Russian peacekeepers deployed to the area to observe the peace deal reported a violation of the ceasefire within the Gadrut area on Friday. The report issued on Saturday by the Russian defence ministry didn’t assign blame.
Later within the day, the Armenian defence ministry additionally charged that the Azerbaijani military mounted an assault within the south of Nagorno-Karabakh on Saturday.
Azerbaijani’s president, Ilham Aliyev, reacted on Saturday by blaming Armenia for the brand new clashes and threatened to “break its head with an iron fist”.
“Armenia shouldn’t attempt to begin it another time,” Aliyev stated throughout a gathering with high diplomats from america and France who’ve tried to mediate the decades-old battle. “It should be very cautious and never plan any navy motion. This time, we are going to totally destroy them. It mustn’t be a secret to anybody.”
Azerbaijan’s defence ministry stated in a press release late Saturday that its forces thwarted Armenian “provocations” and restored the ceasefire.
Armenian officers stated the combating raged close to the villages of Hin Tager and Khtsaberd, the one settlements within the Gadrut area which can be nonetheless managed by Armenian forces. They famous that the 2 villages have been totally encircled by the Azerbaijani military, which controls the one highway resulting in them.
Nagorno-Karabakh lies inside Azerbaijan however had been beneath the management of ethnic Armenian forces backed by Armenia since a separatist conflict there resulted in 1994. That conflict left Nagorno-Karabakh itself and substantial surrounding territory in Armenian palms.
Through the 44 days of combating that started in late September and left greater than 5,600 folks useless on each side, the Azerbaijani military pushed deep into Nagorno-Karabakh, forcing Armenia to simply accept final month’s peace deal, which noticed Azerbaijan reclaim a lot of the separatist area together with surrounding areas. Russia deployed virtually 2,000 peacekeepers for at the very least 5 years to observe the peace deal and to facilitate the return of refugees.
Azerbaijan marked its victory with a navy parade on Thursday that was attended by the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, and concerned greater than 3,000 troops, dozens of navy automobiles and a flyby of fight plane.
The peace deal was a serious shock for Armenians, triggering protests calling for the resignation of the prime minister, Nikol Pashinyan, who has refused to step down. He described the peace settlement as a bitter however needed transfer that prevented Azerbaijan from taking up all of Nagorno-Karabakh.