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Azerbaijan launches massive invasion of Artsakh amid escalating tensions

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In a concerning development, Azerbaijan has initiated a significant military incursion into the Artsakh Republic, known as Karabakh, marking a renewed outbreak of hostilities in the region. The invasion, which began around 13:40 local time, has led to intense clashes near the capital, Stepanakert, and across various points in Nagorno-Karabakh.

Azerbaijan has stated that its actions are part of “counter-terrorism operations.” As part of these operations, they have closed their airspace to neighboring Armenia.

Tensions in the region have been escalating for some time, with reports of systematic shelling of Azerbaijani positions by Armenia’s armed forces, the continuous mining of territories, and the fortification of battle positions. The past few months have witnessed an increase in military activities, including the enhancement of engineering support for battle positions and an expansion of reconnaissance activities.

In a tragic incident on September 19, a vehicle belonging to Azerbaijan’s State Agency for Automobile Roads struck a landmine that had been previously planted by Armenian reconnaissance-subversion groups on the Ahmadbayli-Fuzuli-Shusha Road, resulting in the loss of two civilian lives. On the same day, another vehicle carrying military personnel from the Internal Troops of the Ministry of Internal Affairs struck a mine, leading to casualties among Azerbaijani military servicemen. These incidents are seen as deliberate acts of terror by Armenia against Azerbaijan.

The Ministry of Defense of Azerbaijan has consistently expressed its concerns regarding the continued presence of Armenia’s armed forces in the Karabakh region, considering it a grave threat to regional peace and stability. In response to this situation, local anti-terrorist activities have been launched to enforce the provisions of the Trilateral Statement signed on November 10, 2020. These efforts aim to disarm and secure the withdrawal of Armenian armed forces from Azerbaijani territories, neutralize their military infrastructure, and ensure the safety of civilians in the liberated areas.

Azerbaijan’s military operations are focused on incapacitating positions, combat assets, and military facilities belonging to Armenia’s armed forces. It is emphasized that civilian populations and infrastructure are not targeted, and only legitimate military objectives are being pursued.

The command of the peacekeeping contingent of the Russian Federation and the leadership of the Turkish-Russian Monitoring Center have been informed of these ongoing activities.

The situation in the region remains fluid, with international observers closely monitoring developments and hoping for a swift and peaceful resolution to the escalating crisis.

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