Nagorno-Karabakh. Parties’ statements
1 Armenia — Azerbaijan
The Armenian Ministry of Defense reported that the Azerbaijani troops attacked the military equipment on the territory of Armenia. «On 14th of October the Azerbaijani troops attacked the military equipment on the territory of Armenia due to their assumptions that the military equipment could be used to strike the populated areas of Azerbaijan. The Armenian troops reserve the right to strike at any military facility in Azerbaijan» — the Armenian Defense Ministry concluded. Earlier, the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry announced the destruction of the Armenian operational-tactical missile systems, armed with ballistic missiles. According to the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry — the missiles were aimed «at the civilians and civilian infrastructure of the cities of Ganja, Mingachevir, and others». The ministry added that the missile systems «were destroyed in a pre-emptive strike in order to ensure the safety of the civilian population.»
‘The Wall Street Journal’ reported that hundreds of pro-Turkish terrorists from Syria were deployed in the in Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone. ‘The Wall Street Journal’ quoted two sources in Syria that are associated with the transfer of the terrorists. It was reported that «hundreds of members of the Syrian armed groups, allied with Turkey, took part in the battles between Azerbaijan and Armenia. Hundreds more are preparing to be sent as well». It was noted that dozens of terrorists left the conflict zone in Nagorno-Karabakh since they were «scared by the fierceness of the fighting». ‘The Wall Street Journal’ added that Turkey organized military exercises in Azerbaijan for 2 weeks, and «provided the Azerbaijani authorities with attack drones». Earlier Turkey denied the reports of sending the Syrian terrorists. The Azerbaijani authorities also deny that they are using foreign mercenaries in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
During his speech in the parliament, the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stated that the OSCE Minsk Group should complete the negotiations on Nagorno-Karabakh and «return the territories» to Azerbaijan. «Azerbaijan only demands to return the occupied territories. The Minsk Group, especially the USA, France, and Russia, are delaying this process. All that the Minsk Group should do is to complete the negotiations immediately, and give the territories to their owner» — Erdogan stated and added that Turkey did not send the Syrian opposition fighters from Syria to Azerbaijan. «The Syrians are busy in their home country. They would not go there» — the Turkish president concluded.
The President of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, stated during an interview to the Turkish TV channel ‘Haberturk’ that Azerbaijan will immediately cease the diplomatic relations with any country that recognizes the independence of Nagorno-Karabakh. He stated that it is necessary to prepare both the Azerbaijani and Armenian peoples for a joint life in Nagorno-Karabakh after the end of the conflict. While speaking about placing of peacekeepers to Nagorno-Karabakh he stated that it should be carried out on the basis of the approval of both states — Armenia and Azerbaijan. «If one country objects — then, naturally, it won’t happen» — the President of Azerbaijan specified, and added that the mercenaries from other countries do not take part in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. He also denied the reports about the participation of Turkish F-16 fighters in the fights on the side of Azerbaijan.
The Prime Minister of Armenia, Nikol Pashinyan, addressed the nation. He stated that Armenia knew about the Azerbaijani plans to start the hostilities in Nagorno-Karabakh. «The question was ‘when’ and ‘in which direction’ the enemy was planning to advance. The Artsakh defense army heroically fights the enemy from the very start. Azerbaijani-Turkish troops, in coalition with terrorists, launched the strongest offensive against Artsakh» — Pashinyan said. In his words, Azerbaijan demanded to surrender 7 regions around Nagorno-Karabakh, and also refused to consider the issue of the status of Nagorno-Karabakh outside of Azerbaijan. «The regions had to be surrendered not for the status, but for the peace. Otherwise, Azerbaijan threatened to resolve the issue with war» — Pashinyan explained. In his opinion, Azerbaijan and Turkey failed to blitzkrieg Karabakh, but the army of the Unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh Republic lost a large number of servicemen during the fighting. The Prime Minister of Armenia also thanked Russia for the mediation in the settlement of the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh.