The Armenian Defense Ministry said that Azerbaijani forces began shelling Armenian regions today, September 13, early in the morning. Azerbaijan attacked the southern Armenian cities of Goris, Kapan and Jermuk. Armenia also reports that the enemy used unmanned aerial vehicles. The number of victims is as of yet unspecified.
The Azerbaijani Defense Ministry denied the attack. It claims that there was no invasion of Armenian territory. According to Azerbaijan, the troops are carrying out “local countermeasures in retaliation for a large-scale Armenian provocation.”
The fighting is the latest outbreak of conflict between the Caucasian states since the end of the 44-day war. Then thousands of people died during the battle for the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh. The war was stopped in November 2020 with the help of Russian peacekeepers and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Why is Russia involved in the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan discussed the situation with Putin, Antony Blinken and Emmanuel Macron. Russia, the United States and France are members of the Minsk group. For decade it has been trying to resolve the Karabakh conflict. The conflict itself began during the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Pashinyan held a meeting of the Armenian Security Council. The Council decided to ask Russia for help. This is in accordance with the 1997 Mutual Defense Treaty. There was no immediate official response from Moscow.
In August, the Azerbaijani army regained the city of Lachin for the first time in 30 years. It is located near the road connecting Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh. The city came under the control of Azerbaijan as part of the ceasefire agreement. In general, Azerbaijan took control of part of Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent regions. Those have been previously occupied by Armenian troops since the 1990s.
Earlier, Azerbaijan and Armenia agreed to cease fire. However, they still have not reached a peace agreement. Periodically, hostilities continue despite negotiations over a common border and transport routes.
Pashinyan and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev met on August 31 in Brussels to discuss a peace deal. Judging by current events, no consensus was reached.