THIS IS GENOCIDE: Artsakh Says International Failure to End Blockade Has Allowed Baku to Attack
Azerbaijani armed forces on Tuesday began bombarding positions and cities in Artsakh, including Stepanakert, stepping up its military aggression.
Artsakh’s Human Rights Defender Gegham Stepanyan reported that as of 10:30 p.m. local time 27 people were reported dead, among them civilians and children. He also added that more than 200 people have been injured.
The numbers do not include the medical institutions of Askeran and Martuni, as the communication is still not established.
Artsakh’s former State Minister Artak Beglaryan said that in a span 15 minutes, dozens of explosions can be heard in Stepanakert, with authorities reporting evacuation of at leave six villages.
Residents reported the emergency air siren system being activated as a second wave of attacks began later on Tuesday evening.
At around 1 p.m. local time on Tuesday, the Azerbaijani military launched missile artillery strikes on Artsakh, said the defense ministry.
The attacks have continued throughout the afternoon and build-up of troops along the perimeter of Artsakh is being reported.
Stepanakert came under heavy bombardment, Armenpress reported, disrupting internet and other communications connections.
The Artsakh Defense Ministry said that Azerbaijani attacks were taking place along the entire line-of-contact with Azerbaijan.
“Units of the Azerbaijani Armed Forces are also attempting to advance positions. The Defense Army of the Republic of Artsakh is taking defensive actions. Parallel with this all, the Azerbaijani propaganda machine is carrying out large-scale information-psychological [warfare attacks]. We call on Armenian news media and Facebook users to not publish unverified reports and follow exclusively official sources,” the Artsakh Defense Army said.
Baku claimed earlier on Tuesday that six Azerbaijanis were killed in an Azerbaijani-controlled part of Artsakh after allegedly hitting landmines planted by Artsakh forces.
Official Stepanakert strongly denied these claims.
Shortly afterwards, fighting reportedly broke out in Artsakh’s eastern Askeran district, with the Artsakh army saying that Azerbaijani troops opened mortar fire at its positions in the area.
“This is Genocide,” Stepanyan, the Artsakh Human Rights Defender said.
“Azerbaijan has initiated a large-scale attack against Artsakh/Nagorno Karabakh, the surroundings of civilian communities, including Stepanakert are also targeted. !!! This is genocide, nothing else. And the mediators promise us rights and security within Azerbaijan,” Stepanyan said in a post on X.
Artsakh Foreign Minister Sergey Ghazaryan demanded that the international community take effective steps to immediately stop Azerbaijan’s aggression.
“Recently, the Azerbaijani side has been carrying out daily troop transfers and stockpiling of various weapons, which were accompanied by intensive disinformation and propaganda activities, preparing the ground for large-scale aggression against Artsakh. The Artsakh side constantly warned all actors in 2020 about the indisputable fact of Azerbaijan’s unprecedented accumulation of military power after the war and possible provocations, including in the hope of preventing large-scale military actions. As you know, over the past 24 hours, the Azerbaijani side has spread misinformation that the Artsakh side allegedly carried out sabotage operations and fired at Azerbaijani positions. And later they spread information that they had launched a so-called ‘anti-terrorist operation,’ which proves that all these steps were planned in advance. This fits perfectly with reports of genocidal actions by Azerbaijan against Artsakh and its people by the Armenian side in recent months. Now we are witnessing how Azerbaijan, in order to implement its policy of genocide, is moving towards the physical destruction of the civilian population and the destruction of civilian objects. We have repeatedly informed international actors that calls alone will not stop Azerbaijan from its belligerent and criminal acts. We demand from the international community to take effective steps very quickly to stop Azerbaijan’s aggression,” Ghazaryan said.
This is a developing story.