Karbakah conflict assuming regional, international dimensions

Thanks, Rick Rozoff.

1) Azerbaijan shells Nagorno-Karabakh, cluster munitions used

2)  Azerbaijan launched large-scale offensive in northern Karabakh

3) Another unexploded Israeli missile found in Karabakh

4) Evidence of Azeri war crimes accumulates

5) Greek foreign minister in Armenia: Turkey is common factor in conflicts from North Africa to Caucasus

6) Armenian foreign minister says Karabakh facing existential threat, pledges support to Cyprus and Greece

7) Armenian defense minister warns Iran of Azerbaijani military movements along its border

8) Armenia keeps Collective Security Treaty Organization apprised of developments in Karabakh

1) https://tass.com/world/1212759

Itar-Tass

October 15, 2020

Yerevan reports shelling of settlement in Nagorno-Karabakh by Azerbaijani army

Cluster munitions were used, the information center under the Armenian government said

YEREVAN – The settlement of Krasny Bazar in the zone of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict has come under shelling by the Azerbaijani army, the information center under the Armenian government said on Thursday.

“The Azerbaijani armed forces have once again violated the agreement on the humanitarian ceasefire and delivered a strike at the settlement of Krasny Bazar from the Smerch systems. Cluster munitions were used. According to preliminary information, one civilian was killed,” it said.

Following Russia-initiated consultations in Moscow, Azerbaijan and Armenia agreed on a humanitarian ceasefire from 11:00 Moscow time on October 10 to exchange prisoners and the bodies of those killed.

Renewed clashes between Azerbaijan and Armenia erupted on September 27, with intense battles raging in the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh. The area experienced flare-ups of violence in the summer of 2014, in April 2016 and this past July. Azerbaijan and Armenia have imposed martial law and launched mobilization efforts. Both parties to the conflict have reported casualties, among them civilians.

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2)

https://news.am/eng/news/608166.html

News.Am

October 16, 2020

Armenia MOD representative: Adversary launched large-scale offensive in northern direction of Artsakh

Early in the morning, after about an hour of intense shelling, the adversary [Azerbaijani army] launched a large-scale offensive in the northern direction [of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh)]. Artsrun Hovhannisyan, a representative of the Ministry of Defense of Armenia, on Friday morning wrote this on Facebook.

“Several times they tried to capture our [combat] positions by attacking waves. But thanks to the courage and skill of the Armenian warriors, they were thrown back suffering considerably huge losses,” Hovhannisyan added.

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3)

https://www.panarmenian.net/eng/news/286532/

PanArmenian.net

October 15, 2020

One more unexploded Israeli-made missile found in Karabakh

One more unexploded missile of Israeli production that belonged to the Armed Forces of Azerbaijan has been discovered in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone, Telegram Channel Voyenny Obozrevatel (Military columnist) reported on Wednesday, October 14.

The Armenian side has found wreckages of a missile, identified as EXTended Range Artillery or Extra, developed and manufactured by Israel’s IMI Systems (previously Israel Military Industries).

It is a 306-mm heavy guided missile equipped with a 120 kg warhead (unitary or cluster) and launched from a multiple rocket system with a 20-150 km firing range.

An Amnesty International investigation has confirmed the use of banned Israeli-made M095 DPICM cluster munitions against civilians in Nagorno-Karabakh.

The Armenian side, meanwhile, has been publishing video and photo evidence that prove the deployment of cluster munitions. Azerbaijan has been targeting civilian settlements from the very first moments of starting a war along the Karabah line of contact on September 27.

Armenian Defense Ministry representative Artsrun Hovhannisyan has said that the Azerbaijani Armed Forces are using Israeli-made LAR-160 multiple launch rocket systems to fire cluster munitions prohibited by humanitarian law into the civilians settlements of Karabakh.

Sappers are now working to identify unexploded shells and bombs used by Azerbaijan against civilians and render them safe.

Azerbaijan, with help from Turkey and Syrian and Libyan mercenaries deployed by Ankara, started a war against Karabakh (Artsakh) in the morning of September 27. The Armenian side has reported deaths and injuries both among the civilian population and the military. Foreign and local journalists too have been injured in Azeri shelling of towns and villages.

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4)

https://armenianweekly.com/2020/10/15/evidence-of-azeri-war-crimes-accumulates/

Armenian Weekly

October 15, 2020

Evidence of Azeri war crimes accumulates

Armenia is waging two battles at the moment: one against Azerbaijani aggression in Artsakh, and the other against the coronavirus pandemic, the spread of which has peaked in wartime.

In violation of the humanitarian ceasefire and the legal mandate to protect civilians in wartime, Azerbaijan has shelled various civilian settlements in Artsakh in the past 24 hours. At 7:00PM on Thursday, the Azerbaijani military fired cluster missiles from a BM-30 Smerch multiple rocket launcher at the Karmir Shuka, or “Red Market,” village in Martuni. One civilian was killed in the attack. Earlier in the day, one civilian was injured as a result of an aircraft bombardment in the Knavaran village in Shahumyan. Meanwhile rockets continue to devastate civilian infrastructure in the capital city of Stepanakert.

Fierce fighting persists along the Line of Contact, particularly in the southern direction in the greater Arax region. During his evening press briefing, Ministry of Defense representative Artsrun Hovhannisyan said that the adversary launched military operations in two to three directions on Thursday, deploying artillery fire, infantry and air force capabilities. As of Thursday evening, total military losses on the Azerbaijani side include 184 unmanned aerial vehicles, 16 helicopters, 21 airplanes and 551 armored vehicles as well as 6,189 casualties. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, at least 126 of those deaths are among Syrian mercenaries recruited by Turkey and transported to the frontline to fight alongside Azeri forces. The Artsakh Defense Ministry released 49 names of Armenian soldiers killed in combat today, bringing the total number of fatalities to over 600. “We are losing our precious friends during this time, defending our land with their blood,” Hovhannisyan shared at the end of a somber press briefing. “I believe that we will be victorious.”

Armenia’s Human Rights Defender Arman Tatoyan announced that his office has obtained video and photographic evidence documenting the treatment of Armenian prisoners of war by the Azerbaijani military. According to a statement, members of the Azerbaijani army “humiliate prisoners of war at maximum and then brutally kill them with extreme cynicism.” The killing, torture or inhumane treatment of prisoners of war is strictly prohibited under international law.

Azerbaijan’s invasion of Artsakh was initiated in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the severe public health ramifications of which have been aggravated by the war. As stated by the deputy director general of the Armenian Health Ministry’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention Gayane Sahakyan during a press conference, the number of recorded COVID-19 cases has doubled in Armenia in the past 14 days. In the past two days alone, unprecedented numbers of positive cases have been reported—1,058 cases yesterday and 1,371 cases today. Members of Artsakh’s Defense Army have not been tested due to the difficulties of conducting COVID-19 testing at the frontline. According to Sahakyan, the declaration of martial law in Armenia created favorable conditions for the spread of the virus, due to factors including resettlement, large gatherings, close contact between people and an overburdened public transportation system. “We must always remember that we coexist alongside the coronavirus,” she warned. “It poses as grave of a threat as the war, because in both instances we are struggling against an invisible enemy.”

Today the Armenian Civil Aviation Committee announced that a flight carrying 100 tons of humanitarian assistance from Los Angeles to Yerevan through Qatar Airways scheduled for October 15 was cancelled by the airline with no reason provided. The plane was meant to pass through Turkish airspace. “We have reason to believe that Turkey deliberately closed the air route,” the Civil Aviation Committee press release states. “Even before the start of the war, Turkey began to create obstacles, requesting a detailed list of cargo from airlines when passing through Turkish airspace.”

Despite calls from the Armenian and Russian Foreign Ministries for the establishment of ceasefire verification mechanisms, no negotiations are underway to reach an agreement on monitoring the ceasefire, according to the Director of the Information and Press Department of the Russian Foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova. “We need to immediately organize a meeting between the military and agree on a mechanism for monitoring the ceasefire,” Zakharova stated.

In the meantime, the Austrian Parliament voted unanimously to adopt a resolution condemning Turkey’s role in “pouring fire on the fuel” of the conflict and advocating that the “European Union use its influence on all actors involved, in particular Turkey, to stop external interference in the conflict, such as arms deliveries to the conflicting parties, and to work toward rapid deescalation.” The Flemish Parliament, on its end, unanimously adopted a resolution identifying Azerbaijan and Turkey as the aggressor countries in the conflict and censuring the violations of international humanitarian law committed by Azerbaijan in targeting the peaceful civilian population of Artsakh.

For the third day in a row, United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo addressed the conflict, expressing his hope that the “Armenians will be able to defend against what the Azerbaijanis are doing” during an interview on the Erick Erickson Show on WSB Atlanta. “We now have the Turks, who have stepped in and provided resources to Azerbaijan, increasing the risk, increasing the firepower that’s taking place in this historic fight over this place called Nagorno-Karabakh,” he acknowledged.

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5)

https://www.panorama.am/en/news/2020/10/16/Greek-FM/2382624

Panorama

October 16, 2020

Greek FM: Fueling tensions and illegal actions have one common denominator – Turkey

“Regional developments and bilateral issues were part of today’s talks in Yerevan. We do not spare efforts to deepen relations between Armenia and Greece,” Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias stated on Friday at a joint press conference with Armenian FM Zohrab Mnatsakanyan in Yerevan.

“Minister Mnatsakanyan briefed on the disturbing flare-up of the South Caucasus conflict. We follow the developments from Athens. We welcome the ceasefire agreement reached in Moscow, yet are concerned about its violation. The ceasefire should be strictly maintained. Lasting solutions can be reached only through diplomatic means,” Dendias added.

The minister next voiced concern over serious security challenges in the region.

“It is important the international community clearly differentiate between those who pour full on fire and those showing constructive stance. It is explicit that external interference should be ended. Ankara’s involvement in yet another conflict is disturbing. We were the first to demand from the EU to react to escalation of the tensions in the conflict,” said the Greek minister.

Speaking of recalling its Ambassador from Baku, Nikos Dendias said Greece would not tolerate false news and lies which which create a fertile ground in the behavior of some of neighboring countries.

“Fueling tensions and illegal actions in the Mediteranean, Syria, Iraq, Syria [Caucasus?] and Libya have one common denominator which is Turkey,” the ministry stressed.

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6)

https://www.panorama.am/en/news/2020/10/16/Armenian-FM/2382598

Panorama

October 16, 2020

Armenian FM: Both Mediterranean and South Caucasus facing same threat stemming from Turkey’s expansionist policy

“Our meeting is taking place in a situation where our compatriots in Artsakh are facing an existential threat. In this regard, I would like to thank my colleague for visiting Armenia during this important period and expressing his solidarity with the Armenian people, “Armenian Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan on Friday told a joint press conference with Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias, who is on a working visit to Armenia.

Mnatsakanyan stated that both the Mediterranean and South Caucasus regions are currently facing the same threat stemming from Turkey’s expansionist policy.

“It is Turkey that has incited the large-scale aggression unleashed by Azerbaijan against the civilian population of Artsakh since September 27 and is directly involved in its implementation, with the use of foreign Islamist militants. Despite the statement on the ceasefire adopted on October 10 by the foreign ministers, Azerbaijan has continued hostilities, hitting also a military facility in Armenia. Yesterday Stepanakert was again bombed,” the minister stressed.

“With all these steps, Azerbaijan clearly shows that it not only refuses to implement the joint agreement of the foreign ministers, but also, with the open instigation of Turkey, seeks to expand and deepen the geography of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, launching attacks and aggression against the sovereign territory of Armenia. Although, as expected, Turkey is behind these Azerbaijani actions, the entire responsibility for their irreversible military-political consequences lies with the Azerbaijani leadership.”

The Armenian foreign policy chief stressed that the large-scale Azerbaijani attacks deliberately targeted the peaceful population of Artsakh, leaving more than 32 civilians killed and 106 others injured, 86 of them seriously.

Six civilian casualties have been reported in Artsakh since October 10, four of whom have been shot dead by an Azeri subversive group.

“Azerbaijan’s war crimes have been documented by the same criminals who are spreading the word on the internet, glorifying their actions, including the degrading treatment of the victims and their murder,” the foreign minister said.

“In terms of regional security and stability, the decision of the Azerbaijani authorities to turn the country into a zone of Turkish influence and a hotbed of international terror groups in order to grip on power is a threat. The deployment of terrorists is one of the tools of the incumbent Turkish authorities’ expansionist policy,” Mnatsakanyan said.

The foreign minister once again expressed Armenia’s full support to Greece and Cyprus in connection with the developments in the Mediterranean Sea, calling on Turkey to respect the international law.

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7)

https://www.panarmenian.net/eng/news/286633/

PanArmenian.net

October 16, 2020

Iran informed about possible strikes along the border

PanARMENIAN.Net – The Armenian Defense Ministry has informed the military attaché of the Iranian Embassy in Yerevan that the Azerbaijani Armed Forces continue to carry out operations along the border with Iran, using the border as a shield in the war they have started against Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh).

The head of the General Department of Defence Policy and International Cooperation of Armenia’s Defense Ministry, Levon Ayvazyan, met with the newly appointed military attaché of the Iranian Embassy , Colonel Bahman Sadeghin, in Friday, October 16.

“The Iranian side was reminded of the need to move the operations of the Azerbaijani Armed Forces to a safe distance from the Iranian border,” the Defense Ministry said in a statement.

The Ministry said on behalf of the Artsakh Defense Army that if the situation doesn’t change, “the Defense Army reserves the right to fire destructive strikes on the Azerbaijani Armed Forces in the area, the full responsibility for the consequences of which will rest with the military-political leadership of Azerbaijan.”

Iran warned the sides to the Karabakh conflict after stray fire wounded one person on the Iranian side of the border.

Azerbaijan, with help from Turkey and Syrian and Libyan mercenaries deployed by Ankara, started a war against Karabakh (Artsakh) in the morning of September 27. The Armenian side has reported deaths and injuries both among the civilian population and the military. Foreign and local journalists too have been injured in Azeri shelling of towns and villages.

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8)

https://news.am/eng/news/608207.html

News.Am

October 16, 2020

FM to CSTO chief: Armenia political leadership constantly assesses military situation, steps arising from it

YEREVAN.– Armenia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs of Armenia Zohrab Mnatsakanyan on Thursday had a telephone conversation with Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) Secretary General Stanislav Zas. This was reported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The main topic of their conversation was the situation created by the large-scale aggression unleashed by Azerbaijan in the Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh) conflict zone.

Zohrab Mnatsakanyan reaffirmed Armenia’s commitment to the implementation of the October 10 joint statement of the Foreign Ministers of Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Russia on a ceasefire and its strengthening, while expressing deep concern over the Azerbaijani side’s non-fulfillment of its respective obligations and targeting peaceful settlements throughout Artsakh.

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