YERVAN, Armenia (AP) – Armenian officials and Azerbaijan on Saturday accused each other of violating the peace agreement after six weeks of heavy fighting over Nagorno-Karabakh, and Azerbaijan’s leader “punched” the Armenian army with an “iron fist.”
The new conflict marks the first significant violation of the November 10 peace deal struck by Russia, with Azerbaijan occupying Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding lands that have been occupied by Armenian forces for more than a quarter-century.
Separatist officials in Nagorno-Karabakh said Azerbaijani forces launched a late-night attack on Friday in which three local ethnic Armenian servicemen were wounded.
Russian peacekeepers stationed in the region to monitor the peace deal have reportedly violated the ceasefire in the region on Friday. The Russian Defense Ministry did not blame in a report issued on Saturday.
The next day, the Armenian Defense Ministry also accused Azerbaijani forces of attacking south of Nagorno-Karabakh on Saturday.
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev on Saturday reacted by blaming Armenia for the new clashes and “threatening to break his head with an iron fist.”
“Armenia should not try to start it again,” Aliyev said during a meeting with top diplomats from the United States and France, who have been trying to mediate in the decades-long conflict. He should be very careful and not plan any military action. At this point, we will destroy them completely. It should not be a secret to anyone. “
Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry said in a statement late Saturday evening that its forces had thwarted Armenian “provocations” and restored a ceasefire.
Armenian officials said the only settlements in the Gadrut region fought near the villages of Hin Tigar and Khattabird, which are still controlled by Armenian forces. They noted that both villages were completely surrounded by Azerbaijani troops, who controlled the only road leading to them.
Nagorno-Karabakh is located in Azerbaijan, but was under the control of an ethnic Armenian army backed by Armenia, where the separatist war ended in 1994. This battle left a significant surrounding area in Nagorno-Karabakh itself and in the hands of the Armenians.
The fighting, which began in late September and killed more than 5,600 people on both sides, pushed Azerbaijan’s forces into Nagorno-Karabakh, forcing Armenia to accept last month’s peace deal that left Azerbaijan largely a separatist territory. Surrounding areas. Russia has deployed about 2,000 peacekeepers for at least five years to monitor the peace deal and facilitate the return of refugees.
Azerbaijan won its victory on Thursday with a military parade attended by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and attended by more than 1,000,000 troops, dozens of military vehicles and a flyover of fighter jets.
The peace deal came as a shock to the people of Armen, who called for the resignation of Prime Minister Nikola Pashinya, who refused to step down. He called the peace agreement a bitter but necessary step, which prevented Azerbaijan from occupying all Nagorno-Karabakh.
The report was co-authored by Associated Press writers Vladimir Isachenkov in Moscow and Aida Sultanova in London.
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