A continuation of the hostilities in Nagorno-Karabakh
The Ministry of Defense of Azerbaijan reported that on Wednesday morning, the intense battles still continue in the Karabakh conflict zone. The ministry reported that the Armenian troops are concentrated in the Magadiz area. The troops tried to go on an offensive. «That enemy activity was suppressed. The Azerbaijani troops are conducting a counter-offensive operation, in order to break the resistance of the enemy» — the message explained. The Ministry of Defense of Azerbaijan reported about the artillery shelling of the city of Terter, which is located close to the contact line in Karabakh, by the Armenian troops. The press secretary of the Armenian Defense Ministry, Shushan Stepanyan, reported on Facebook about the continuation of the artillery battles along the entire contact line in Nagorno-Karabakh. «During the night, the air defenses of the Artsakh Defense Army shot down 2 enemy drones over the city of Stepanakert» — the message concluded.
The ‘Armenian Unified Informational Center’, established under the Armenian Government, reported with a reference to the press-release of the defense army of the unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh Republic that some Turkish F-16 fighters participated in the battles in the north-eastern and southern parts of the Nagorno-Karabakh area. The press service of the Armenian Foreign Ministry announced that the Ministry strongly condemns «the provocative actions of Turkey» and «demands an immediate withdrawal of the Turkish forces, including the aviation, from the conflict zone». The statement noted that the Turkish Air Force performs flights along the contact line between Nagorno-Karabakh and Azerbaijan. The Turkish Air Force provides an air support to the attacking Azerbaijani troops. The statement underlined that the Turkish airplanes also fly along the Armenian-Turkish border. In some cases they violate the air border of Armenia.
The Armenian Prime Minister, Nikol Pashinyan, stated during a press conference with the Russian mass media representatives that due to the current military situation — the Armenian authorities are considering to recognize the independence of the Nagorno-Karabakh region. He underlined that the Armenian goal is to establish a long-term peace in the region. He added that on Tuesday, during a telephone conversation with the Russian President Vladimir Putin, the parties did not discuss a possible Russian military intervention in the Karabakh conflict. Pashinyan added that Armenia will ensure its own security, with or without the participation of the CSTO. «The discussion of the participation of the CSTO is a political issue. We work closely with our partners in the organization, and we inform them about the current situation. However, Armenia is ready to defend its own security, with or without the participation of the CSTO» — he concluded.
The Azerbaijani ambassador to Russia, Polad Bulbul-oglu, stated that «The Armenian recognition of the independence of the Nagorno-Karabakh region will burn all diplomatic bridges. Baku will react in the most negative way» — the ambassador explained during an interview to the RBK TV. He also denied the claims that the Turkish F-16 fighters are participating in the battles.
The President of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, said during a meeting with the wounded soldiers in a military hospital in Baku that Azerbaijan will restore its territorial integrity. He added that the fighting in Karabakh will stop only when Yerevan fulfills the conditions for the withdrawal of troops. «We have one condition — they must completely and immediately leave our lands. This condition is still in force. If the Armenian government fulfills it — the fighting will stop, no more blood will be shed, and peace will come to our region» — Ilham Aliyev explained and added that the calls for a dialogue with Armenia, during the current escalation of the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh, are pointless.