South Caucasus: Armenia and Azerbaijan accuse each other of new attacks

Fighting between the two former Soviet republics of Armenia and Azerbaijan in the South Caucasus continues after the recent escalation.

South Caucasus: Armenia and Azerbaijan accuse each other of new attacks

Fighting between the two former Soviet republics of Armenia and Azerbaijan in the South Caucasus continues after the recent escalation. "The enemy used combat drones in the direction of Jermuk," said the spokesman for the Armenian Defense Ministry, Aram Torosyan, on Wednesday.

The village of Werin Schorscha to the north was also attacked. The attacks intensified over the course of the day, and vehicles of the Russian peacekeeping force were also fired upon.

Baku denied the allegations from Yerevan and in turn accused the neighbor of attacks. Accordingly, the Armenian military is shelling positions of the Azerbaijanis in the Kalbajar region in western Azerbaijan. The Armenian troops also used heavy weapons such as howitzers. The statements could not initially be verified independently.

Mutual accusations of guilt

In the shadow of the Ukraine war, serious armed clashes broke out between the two former Soviet republics on Tuesday night. At least 105 of Armenia's own soldiers were killed, according to Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan. Baku also reported losses. Both sides blame each other for the new escalation.

Armenia and Azerbaijan have been at war with each other over the Nagorno-Karabakh region for decades. In autumn 2020, Armenia had lost a war against its neighbor. As a result, the country had to relinquish control of most of Armenian-majority Nagorno-Karabakh. At that time, a Russian peacekeeping force was stationed in the region to protect the ceasefire. Russia is traditionally seen as Armenia's protecting power in the Caucasus, while Turkey is acting on the side of Azerbaijan in the conflict. In contrast to the previous conflicts, according to Armenian statements, this time it was not the exclave that was attacked, but positions in the heartland of Armenia.

Chancellor Scholz: Conflict "makes no sense"

Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) called on Azerbaijan and Armenia to settle their conflict through negotiations and to refrain from further fighting. "This conflict makes no sense," said Scholz on Wednesday in Berlin at a joint press conference with Georgia's Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili.

The federal government had previously expressed "deeply concern" about reports of hostilities on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border. A spokesman for the Foreign Office also spoke of attacks on civilian infrastructure and places of residence. A dialogue must be continued. "That's why we also support the mediation offer of the European Union," said the spokesman. He did not want to comment on which side caused the latest escalation because there were no independent observers.

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