Missiles War Goes Wild in the Armenia vs Azerbaijan Conflict
Windowofworld.com – The exchange of missiles between the pro-Armenian separatist group in Nagorno-Karabakh and the Azerbaijani troops was getting wild. Cities in Azerbaijan were also hit by a number of missiles from Armenia territory.
The leader of the Nagorno-Karabakh region, Arayik Harutyunyan, warned residents in major Azerbaijan cities on Sunday to leave to avoid the inevitable losses after he said Azerbaijan was targeting civilians in the main city of the Stepanakert region in recent days.
“Objects several miles across major cities of Azerbaijan are targets of the Artsakh Defense Army. (I) call on Azerbaijanis to leave these cities to avoid inevitable harm,” he wrote on Twitter. Artsakh is another name for Nagorno-Karabakh after independence from Azerbaijan in the 1990s.
But Harutyunyan later updated his tweet that the missile firing from his forces had stopped. “At this time the shooting is stopped on my order to avoid losses among civilians. The failure of the Azerbaijan military-political leadership to learn appropriate lessons, our commensurate response will continue. Azerbaijan can still stop its aggression,” he continued, as quoted by CNN, Monday (5/10/2020).
Long-running tensions between Armenia and Azerbaijan have flared up recently in the contested Nagorno-Karabakh region, with the two sides accusing each other of attacking civilians amid growing reports of casualties.
Inhabited and controlled by ethnic Armenians, Nagorno-Karabakh lies within Azerbaijan. Its claim of independence is supported by Armenia, which is connected by two highways. Nagorno-Karabakh also exercises control over several adjacent territories which are internationally recognized as belonging to Azerbaijan.
Armenia and Azerbaijan have long been at odds over the mountainous region, and a war for it ended in 1994. Although the conflict ended in a Russian-brokered ceasefire, military battles between the two sides were not uncommon.
Azerbaijan on Sunday said the densely populated city of Ganja and several districts near Nagorno-Karabakh were attacked by missile fire from Armenia.
“Indiscriminate missile attacks were launched against the cities of Azerbaijan, Ganja, Füzuli, Tartar and Jabrayil from Armenian territory. Ganja is the second largest city in Azerbaijan. It has a population of more than 500,000,” said Hikmet Hajiyev, a leading foreign policy aide to President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, on Twitter.
Hajiyev also tweeted videos of damage to buildings and cars with smoke rising in the sky and people gathering in the streets. “This footage is the result of a massive Armenian missile attack against a densely populated area of the city of Ganja. Azerbaijan maintains its right to take adequate measures against legitimate military targets to defend civilians and force Armenia to peace,” continued Hajiyev.
The Armenian Defense Ministry denies attacking cities in Azerbaijan with missiles. “The Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Armenia officially stated that no shots were fired from Armenian territory towards Azerbaijan,” Shushan Stepanyan, spokesman for the Armenian Ministry of Defense said on Twitter on Sunday.