Nagorno-Karabakh. The fighting continues
The Azerbaijani Defense Ministry announced on their website that the fighting in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone continues. It was reported that on 21st and 22nd of October the hostilities took place in the Agdera-Agdam, Fizuli-Jabrayil and Zangilan-Gubadli sectors. It was reported that as a result of the operation, carried out by the Azerbaijani troops in the Gubadli sector, «the defending Armenian troops were forced to retreat from important heights and a number of positions after suffering losses in personnel and military equipment». The ministry added that «the Azerbaijani troops are in control of the operational situation».
The Azerbaijani Defense Ministry reported that Armenia launched ballistic missiles on the Gabala region, in the north of the country. «On 22nd of October, at 9 AM, ballistic missiles were launched from the territory of Armenia at the cities of Gabala and Kurdamir» — the press service of the military department reported. The official representative of the Armenian Defense Ministry, Artsrun Hovhannisyan, denied the statement of the Azerbaijani authorities. «The statement is an another provocation of Azerbaijan. It aims to involve Armenia in military operations» — the TASS news agency quoted his words.
The Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev stated in an interview to the Japanese newspaper Nikkei, which was shown on Thursday by the state TV channel ‘AzTV’, that Azerbaijan does not object to the introduction of international observers or peacekeepers into Nagorno-Karabakh. Aliyev added that Azerbaijan will put forward its own conditions. He noted that the introduction of international observers, or peacekeeping forces, is a part of the basic principles of the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. «And, of course, both sides — Azerbaijan and Armenia — must agree on the composition of the observers or the peacekeepers» — Aliyev explained. He also did not rule out the possibility of meeting with the Armenian Prime Minister, Nikol Pashinyan, in Moscow. He added that «the prospects of a peaceful settlement of the conflict with the current government of Armenia are very distant». Aliyev also stated that Baku will never agree to hold a referendum on a self-determination of Nagorno-Karabakh. «There will be no referendum in Nagorno-Karabakh. We will never agree with such thing. During the negotiations, we did not give a consent for that. Now that we have returned most of the territories — this is out of the question» — Aliyev concluded.
The TOLOnews TV reported that 12 people were killed during an airstrike in the Baharak region of the Takhar province. The air strike hit a district with a religious school. According to the TV channel — the airstrike killed 12 people, mostly teenagers. Another 14 locals were injured. The airstrike was reportedly carried out by a mistake. The security officials didn’t specify if the strike was delivered by the Afghan Air Force, or by the international coalition aircraft. The air attack in Tahar was launched less than a day after some violent clashes took place in Baharak between the government forces and the Taliban terrorists. According to the latest data — about 50 Afghan soldiers were killed as a result of those battles.
5 Russia — Syria
The Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Vershinin stated during a meeting in the Russian Federal Council that Russia can’t allow the UN Security Council to adopt a resolution on Syria, based on the report of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. Russia intends to work with other countries on this issue. On 21st of October, a report from the OPCW on Syria arrived at the UN Security Council. Sergei Vershinin guessed that the USA would propose to adopt an «absolutely unacceptable resolution» on chemical weapons against Syria on the basis of that report. Sergei Vershinin added that Russia will continue to use its veto power in the UN Security Council in order to avoid making decisions «which will be difficult to implement, or even impossible to implement due to the Russian long-term national interests».