Azerbaijan has declared the start of a military "operation" in the historically and ethnically Armenian Nagorno-Karabakh to "disarm" the Artsakh Defense Army. Azerbaijan violated the 2020 ceasefire agreement and launched the offensive amid the ongoing genocidal blockade of Nagorno-Karabakh.
Azerbaijan announced that it has launched "anti-terrorist operations" in Nagorno-Karabakh, hitting Armenian positions with "high-precision weapons". Air raid alert in Stepanakert amid reports of bombing and shooting.
The Artsakh Defence Ministry reported that on 19 September, at around 13.00, the Azerbaijani Armed Forces violated the ceasefire along the Line of Contact by launching missile strikes. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Artsakh will make additional announcements.
Baku launched its massive artillery offensive against Nagorno-Karabakh, targeting towns and civilians on a large scale, after imposing a total blockade of 8 months on 120,000 Armenians, subjecting them to starvation and moral and psychological hardship, they are now deliberately targeting them for extermination.
"The failure of international actors to lift the blockade and prevent the genocide in Artsakh has given the green light to Azerbaijan to launch a military offensive against 120 thousand people of Artsakh under siege," the Armenian Foreign Ministry said.
Artsakh's intelligence headquarters said Azerbaijan is using artillery and drones. "Azerbaijan has launched a large-scale attack on the Republic of Artsakh, using artillery and drones. We ask and urge you to stay in shelters, not to post videos and photos on the Internet, following only official news," the statement said.
The Foreign Minister of Artsakh, Sergei Ghazarian, spoke to CivilNet about the situation in Artsakh, calling for immediate and decisive action by the international community. "Now we are witnessing how Azerbaijan, in implementing its genocidal policy, is moving towards the physical extermination of the civilian population and actions of destruction of political objects. We have repeatedly informed international actors that it is impossible to curb such warlike and criminal acts of Azerbaijan with appeals. We demand that the international community take effective steps in a very short time to stop Azerbaijan's aggression."
A session of the Security Council is being held under the leadership of Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian, Armenia's Security Council office said. "Large-scale military operations launched by Azerbaijan against Nagorno-Karabakh are discussed on the agenda of the session," the statement said.
The children's hospital "Arevik" in Stepanakert confirmed that 6-7 children were transferred to it. The hospital did not give details of their condition. Earlier, information spread on the Internet that as a result of the shelling of Sarnaghbyur village in Askeran district, children were injured and taken to Stepanakert.
Failure of the international actors to lift the blockade and prevent genocide in Artsakh lit a green light for Azerbaijan to launch a military offensive against 120k ppl of Artsakh under the siege— MFA of Artsakh (@mfankr) September 19, 2023
Now Azerbaijan is striking the Armenian air defence (Artsakh) in Karabakh. A kamikaze drone of the Azerbaijani Armed Forces was spotted over Stepanakert. It is believed to be the Israeli "Harop", which was actively used by Azerbaijan during the 44-day war in 2020.
Mobile and internet connection is intermittently disrupted in the region.
The capital of Nagorno-Karabakh, Stepanakert, is currently being shelled by the artillery of the Azerbaijani army and preliminary reports indicate that shelling is also taking place in the area of the village of Soss and in the Askeran region.
According to the Azerbaijani Ministry of Defence, the command of the Russian peacekeeping detachment and the leadership of the Turk-Russian Monitoring Centre were duly informed of their plan to launch an attack on the indigenous Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh. The international community bears responsibility for the events unfolding in Nagorno-Karabakh.
Russian Foreign Ministry Press Secretary Maria Zakharova denies that the Azerbaijani side had warned Russian peacekeepers of the start of hostilities. She stressed that this information that it does not correspond to reality. According to Zakharova, the information was supposedly conveyed to the Russian body a few minutes before the start of hostilities.
The Azerbaijani Ministry of Defence announced that "local anti-terrorist operations have been launched in Karabakh to restore constitutional order in Azerbaijan".
"As a result, local anti-terrorist activities have been launched to ensure the provisions of the Trilateral Declaration, suppress large-scale provocations in the economic region of Karabakh, disarm and ensure the withdrawal of the formations of the Armenian armed forces from our territories, neutralize their military infrastructure, provide security of the civilian population returning to the territories liberated from occupation, civilians involved in the construction and restoration
Recall that the Armenian Prime Minister said on Sunday that his country and neighbouring Azerbaijan could reach a peace agreement on the Nagorno-Karabakh region by the end of this year. Nikol Pasinyan reportedly said he was doing everything he could to reach an agreement.
Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh have suffered food shortages after Azerbaijan imposed a blockade on the region for the last nine months to combat what it claims was arms smuggling, but in reality the aim was to starve the indigenous population.
Azerbaijan, aided by drones purchased from Turkey and Israel, carried out a military operation, quickly breaking through Armenian defences and seizing seven districts and about a third of Karabakh itself, ethnically cleansing these areas of their Armenian population.