Clashes broke out this morning between Armenian forces and the Azerbaijani military in the region of Artsakh.
At 9:33AM local time, the Artsakh Foreign Ministry announced on Twitter:
"Early morning, Azerbaijan unleashed military offensive along [the Line of Contact] targeting also civilian settlements, including the capital Stepanakert. Artsakh defense acts with all capacities to ensure security of its population. Azerbaijan bears full responsibility for consequences of its aggression."
Early morning, #Azerbaijan unleashed military offensive along LoC targeting also civilian stlmnts, incld. capital #Stepanakert. #Artsakh defense acts with all capacities 2 ensure security of its population. Azerbaijan bears full responsibility for consequences of its aggression
— MFA of Artsakh (@mfankr) September 27, 2020
Armenia and Azerbaijan have been at loggerheads with each other over the territory of Artsakh, or more commonly known as Nagorno-Karabakh, since the Soviet Union begun collapsing in the late 1980’s as the Armenian-majority region, which was gifted to Azerbaijan by acting Commissar of Nationalities for the Soviet Union in the early 1920’s, Joseph Stalin, wanted to unify with Armenia.
After years of war, Artsakh achieved a de facto independence in 1994, albeit with no international recognition, including from Yerevan.
Flareups are common place, including outside of Artsakh and on the direct borders of Armenia and Azerbaijan. The most deadly clashes recently took place in July after a failed Azerbaijani offensive led to the death of 21 of its soldiers, 13 UAV’s downed and three tanks destroyed. This was to Armenia’s five soldiers and two police officers killed in action.
Although the Artsakh Defense Forces lost 12 Soviet-era Osa surface-to-air missile systems, it came at a heavy price for Azerbaijan who lost three tanks, two helicopters and 14 drones.
Ankara has already weighed in on the current hostilities, with Turkish Presidential Spokeperson İbrahim Kalın claiming that Armenian forces attacked civilians.
"We strongly condemn Armenia's aggression against Azerbaijan. By attacking civilian settlements, Armenia has violated the ceasefire and once again demonstrated its opposition to peace and stability. The international community must immediately stop this dangerous provocation," he said on Twitter.
An Armenian woman and child were killed by Azerbaijani shelling in the Martuni region. There are not reports yet of an Azerbaijani civilian casualties.
"Turkey and Azerbaijan near the face of these attacks. We wish God's mercy on our brothers who lost their lives in the attacks. Azerbaijan is not alone. It has full support from Turkey," Kalın said in a follow up tweet.
Türkiye bu saldırılar karşısında Azerbaycan’ın yanındadır.
Saldırılarda hayatını kaybeden kardeşlerimize Allah’tan rahmet diliyoruz.
Azerbaycan yalnız değildir. Türkiye’nin tam desteğine sahiptir.
— Ibrahim Kalin (@ikalin1) September 27, 2020
At the beginning of this month, Azerbaijani dictator Ilham Aliyev told the newly appointed Greek ambassador to Azerbaijan, Nikolaos Piperigos, that “we support them [Turkey] on all issues, including the issue of intelligence in the Eastern Mediterranean.”.
“I can tell you, and it is no secret, that Turkey is not only our friend and partner, but also a brotherly country for us. Without any hesitation whatsoever, we support Turkey and will support it under any circumstances,” the Azerbaijani dictator added.
Turkey only days ago was exposed transferring Syrian jihadists to Azerbaijan to fight against the Armenians, as reported by Greek City Times.
It has also been highlighted that Turkish media seemingly appeared to be prepared for this latest clash of hostilities, bringing to question the Azerbaijani story that Armenia launched today's clashes.
TRT Haber ve Anadolu Ajansı ekibinin bulunduğu noktaya Ermeni birliklerince havan atışı yapıldı. 3 havan topu, TRT ve AA ekibinin 100 metre kadar yakınına düştü.https://t.co/HuEASusXMO pic.twitter.com/dKlKEtbT2o
— TRT HABER (@trthaber) September 27, 2020