Severe clashes erupt between Armenia, Azerbaijan

Armenia and Azerbaijan have reported new border clashes that left an unknown number of Azerbaijani troops dead.

Severe clashes erupt between Armenia, Azerbaijan

MEHR: Armenia and Azerbaijan have reported new border clashes that left an unknown number of Azerbaijani troops dead.

The clashes, which broke out early on Tuesday, mark the latest flare-up between the two countries, who fought a war in 2020 over the Karabakh region.

Each side blamed the other for the fighting.

In a statement, Armenia’s defence ministry said Azerbaijan launched “intensive shelling” against Armenian military positions in the direction of the cities of Goris, Sok, and Jermuk at 00:05 am (20:05 GMT) on Tuesday. Azerbaijani troops used drones, as well as “artillery and large-calibre firearms,” it said, Al Jazeera reported.

“Armenia’s armed forces have launched a proportionate response,” it added.

But Azerbaijan’s defence ministry accused Armenia of “large-scale subversive acts” near the districts of Dashkesan, Kelbajar, and Lachin on the border, adding that its army positions “came under fire, including from trench mortars”.

“There are losses among [Azerbaijani] servicemen,” it said, without giving figures.

There have been frequent reports of fighting along the Armenia-Azerbaijan border since the end of their 2020 war.

Last week, Armenia accused Azerbaijan of killing one of its soldiers in a border attack.

In August, Azerbaijan said it had lost a soldier, and the Karabakh army said two of its troops had been killed and more than a dozen wounded.

Conflict first broke out in the late 1980s, when both sides were under Soviet rule and Armenian forces captured swathes of territory near Karabakh, long recognized internationally as Azerbaijan’s territory. About 30,000 people died in the ensuing conflict.

Azerbaijan regained those territories in the 2020 fighting, which ended with a Russian-brokered truce and thousands of residents returning to homes from which they had fled. More than 6,500 people lost their lives in the six-week war.

The leaders of both countries have since met several times to hammer out a treaty intended to establish a lasting peace.

During EU-mediated talks in Brussels in May and April, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan agreed to “advance discussions” on a future peace treaty.

Pashinyan on Tuesday held separate phone calls with Russian President Vladimir Putin and French President Emmanuel Macron on the latest clashes, according to the Armenian government.