The Human Rights Defenders of Armenia and Artsakh have published a report on the use of incendiary weapons of mass destruction containing chemicals that are being used against Artsakh by the Azerbaijani armed forces, Armen Tatoyan, Armenia’s Human Rights defender said on Friday.
The report is based on evidence collected on the ground and include photos of civilians injuries, maps, illustrations and data. Specific findings are based on studies from the Mkhitar Hearts Military Medicine School of the Yerevan State Medical University.
Through detailed analysis, the report demonstrated the use of chemical agents by Azerbaijan against civilians and forests in Artsakh, causing severe long-term damage to the peaceful population and the environment, specifically impacting the areas of Nngi, Sghnakh, Aknaghbyur, Taghavard, Togh, Karin Tak.
The report warns of the long-term effects of the damage to the life and health of the civilian population.
The joint fact-finding missions of the two Human Rights Defenders revealed that overall approximately 1,815 hectares (4,485 acres) of forest area was damaged almost in all regions of Artsakh.
Considering the specificities of the ammunition, this number may increase even if its use is discontinued.
Moreover, it was also reported that in civilian communities of Nngi, Taghavard, Aknaghbyur, the damage to important infrastructure, such as gas lines, has also impacted the civilian population.
The current ad hoc report established the following facts, irrespective from the concrete type of the chemical element of the used ammunition:
- the used ammunition has nature of massive destruction;
- ammunitions contain chemical elements;
- are used towards forests, causing mass fires and long-term severe damage to environment;
- according to expert assessments, the fire, caused by this type of weapon is not stopped even with the extinguishing materials or water;
- the forests where these ammunitions were used, are located close to the civilian communities;
- according to the fact-finding activities, civilians, who were probably damaged from the use of the ammunition, are hiding from attacks of Azerbaijani military forces in those forests;
- the use of this ammunition against civilian objects is prohibited by the international law and may entail to war crime.