Stepanakert Maternity Ward Hit By Rockets; Turkish F-16s Involvement Suspected

VIEW GALLERY: Stapankert's Maternity Hospital has been destroyed by Azeri attacks

Shushi and Other Cities Also Under Attack

Stepanakert’s maternity hospital was destroyed after Azerbaijani forces continued raining rockets at Artsakh’s capital, Shushi and other cities. Azerbaijan continues to violate the ceasefire with attacks on Martuni and Askeran.

The Artsakh authorities are investigating reports that American-made Turkish F-16s were used to bomb Stepanakert.

Heavy casualties are reported in Stepanakert and Shushi after the latest Azeri bombardment of residential areas, reported Artsakh’s Human Rights Defender Artak Beglaryan.

On Wednesday alone the Azerbaijani forces launched more than 15 strikes against Stepanakert and Shushi targeting residential and other civilian buildings, among the maternity ward in Stepanakert.

Beglaryan reported that one civilian was killed in Shushi, while the casualties were high in Stepanakert.

“These new crimes are consequence of the silence by the international community to the previous crimes, which encourages the Azerbaijani side. Therefore, both Azerbaijan and the international community bear responsibility for these crimes,” said Beglaryan.

Artsakh President Arayik Harutyunyan commented on the renewed shelling of Stepanakert and other cities saying, “This is is a challenge to the entire civilized world.’’

Meanwhile, Armenia’s Foreign Ministry on Wednesday sounded the alarm of the toll the bombings are taking on the civilians, calling Azerbaijan’s actions “war crimes.”

“This war crime, which is a gross violation of international humanitarian law and norms, clearly demonstrates that the people of Artsakh are Azerbaijan’s target, including newborn babies, mothers, and the elders. The attempts of the Azerbaijani military-political leadership to kill life in Artsakh will fail and the organizers of these crimes will be held responsible,’’ Armenia’s foreign ministry spokesperson Anna Naghdalyan said.

Tensions continued on the frontlines on Wednesday, with the Artsakh Defense Ministry reporting that Azerbaijani forces continued to bomb residential ares in Martuni and villages in north of the Askeran region.

As localized battles rage, the defense ministry said that Artsakh forces were successfully rebuffing Azerbaijani attacks.

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