Fresh clashes broke out between Armenia and Azerbaijan, with each side reporting casualties and blaming the other for the violence. Armenia said Azerbaijani forces attacked several points near the border, killing 49 Armenian soldiers. Azerbaijan said Armenian forces fired on its positions, leaving an unspecified number of casualties. The two countries have had a decades-long conflict involving the Nagorno-Karabakh region, which is inside Azerbaijan but populated mainly by ethnic Armenians.
The War So For:
A six-week war in 2020 killed more than 6,600 people and saw Azerbaijan reclaim territory in and around the region. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken called on the two sides to “end any military hostilities immediately,” saying in a statement that there is no military solution to the conflict. Russia’s Foreign Ministry also urged Armenia and Azerbaijan to resolve the conflict through political and diplomatic means.
What The Both Countries Said:
- Armenia says at least 49 of its soldiers have been killed in fighting along the country’s border with Azerbaijan, claiming the attacks were carried out because of a simmering dispute over Nagorno-Karabakh.
- Azerbaijan says its forces returned fire to prevent “large-scale provocations” by the Armenian military, adding it is “in control” of the situation in the region.
What is behind the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict:
- At the heart of the conflict between the former Soviet republics is the highly contested Nagorno-Karabakh region, where two wars have been fought over in the 1990s and more recently, in 2020.
- The enclave is internationally recognised as Azerbaijani territory, but it is populated with ethnic Armenians who either want to secede or join Armenia.
- Azerbaijan considers ethnic Armenians to be illegally occupying their land.
- At least 30,000 people were killed in the conflict following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, after ethnic Armenian separatists broke away from Azerbaijan.
- The six-week war in 2020 over Nagorno-Karabakh killed at least 6,500 people and ended with a Russian-brokered truce.
- Under the deal, Armenia ceded swaths of territory it had controlled for decades and Moscow deployed about 2,000 Russian peacekeepers to oversee the fragile ceasefire.