New hostilities between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces have begun over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region.
As News Armenia reported, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan announced Azerbaijan had launched an air and artillery attack in the direction of Artsakh. Martial law and total military mobilization were later declared.
"The Defense Army is successfully resisting the attack. The situation is developing rapidly, information will be summarized and provided as necessary," the Prime Minister said on his Facebook.
Alleged video of Armenian strike against an Azerbaijan’s tank.— MiddleEastWatch (@MiddleEastWatc1) September 27, 2020
Reports state that 3 helicopters and 3 tanks have been destroyed by the Armenian side.
Azerbaijan is currently conducting a counter attack and we should hear reports soon. #Azerbaijan#Armeniapic.twitter.com/pFpKjNDQDS
Russia's Interfax news agency reported the Human Rights Ombudsman of the unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (Artsakh) Artak Beglaryan told reporters about civilian casualties.
In particular, a child and a woman were killed in Martuni Province, schools in Stepanakert were under attack.
News.am later reported that Secretary of the Security Council of the unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (Artsakh) Samvel Babayan had informed journalists in Stepanakert that the Armenian side had lost 10 soldiers.
"There are wounded among the civilian population, even children. By the end of the day, there will be clearer figures. We are not hiding anything – this is a war," Babayan said.
The head of the unrecognized territory, Arayik Harutyunyan, also declared martial law in the disputed region and announced mobilization of persons over 18 years old, his press secretary Vahram Poghosyan said on Facebook.
According to media reports, the power supply was cut off in the town of Shushi in the disputed region; residents are now hiding in shelters, there is no panic.
At the same time, the Azerbaijani Ministry of Defense accused Armenia of large-scale provocations along the entire length of the front.
"At about 06:00 a.m. on September 27, the armed forces of Armenia, having carried out large-scale provocations, launched intensive shelling of positions of the Azerbaijani Army along the entire front line and our settlements located in the front-line zone, using large-caliber weapons, mortars and artillery systems of various calibers," it said.
The troops of the Azerbaijan Army launched a counter offensive operation along the entire front.
"To suppress the combat activity of the armed forces of Armenia and ensure the safety of the civilian population, the command of the Azerbaijani Army decided to launch a counter offensive operation by our troops along the entire front," Azerbaijan's Defense Ministry said in a statement.
The Azerbaijani Defense Ministry also announced the destruction of 12 OSA anti-aircraft missile systems in Armenia.
The ministry also reported the loss of one of its helicopters. "A combat helicopter of the Air Force of Azerbaijan was shot down in the Terter direction, the crew members are alive," it said.
War in Nagorno-Karabakh: Past developments
- The conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh region began in 1988, when the predominantly Armenian-populated Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast announced its withdrawal from the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic.
- In 1991-1994, the bloodshed conflict continued in the region, which ended with the signing of a ceasefire protocol. Nagorno-Karabakh proclaimed itself an independent "republic." Azerbaijan did not recognize this, considering the territory to have been occupied by Armenia.
- From time to time, clashes still erupt along the line of contact.