Four Azerbaijani soldiers were killed after starting hostilities with Armenia in the border region.
Three of the Azerbaijani soldiers were killed on Sunday and one on Monday in the Tavush region of northeastern Armenia, Azerbaijan’s Ministry of Defence said on Monday.
Although four Azerbaijani soldiers were killed, only two Armenian soldiers were wounded (no fatalities).
According to the Armenian Defence Ministry, Azerbaijan shelled Armenian positions on Monday morning after clashing throughout the night.
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan told a cabinet meeting that Azerbaijani “provocations will not be unanswered” and Armenian Defence Minister David Tonoyan said his country “will be reacting to Azerbaijani actions, including by taking advantageous positions” in their territory.
“The aggravation of the situation on the border may be due to the desire of the military-political leadership of Azerbaijan to overshadow the country’s internal problems,” Pashinyan added.
He said Armenian forces “do not shell civilian targets in Azerbaijan and only target the engineering infrastructure and technical facilities of the Azerbaijani armed forces.”
Turkey’s Ministry of External Affairs, unsurprisingly, issued a statement backing the Azerbaijani’s who are also ethnically Turkic.
“Turkey will continue, with all its capacity, to stand by Azerbaijan in its struggle to protect its territorial integrity,” the ministry said, ignoring that Azerbaijan began the latest round of hostilities with Armenia.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said “From this (incident), we see that by creating new conflict areas, Armenia wants to draw attention to other places, especially away from the lands it has occupied.”
“Whatever solution Baku prefers for the occupied lands and Karabakh, we will stand by Azerbaijan,” he added. “Azerbaijan is not alone. The Republic of Turkey and the Turkish people are with Azerbaijan with all our capabilities.”
The EU’s lead foreign affairs spokesperson, Peter Stano, said on Monday that “the EU urges both sides to stop the armed confrontation, refrain from action and rhetoric that provoke tension, and undertake immediate measures to prevent further escalation”.
“This serious ceasefire violation highlights the urgency of resuming the OSCE monitoring on the ground, as soon as conditions allow,” he continued.
Stano said that the EU called on both sides to focus on the coronavirus pandemic instead and “prepare their populations for peace.”