The Armenian authorities said on Saturday that Baku had launched a major offensive on Nagorno-Karabah.
Fifty-one separatist soldiers were killed on Saturday, October 3, in fighting between Armenians and Azerbaijanis in Nagorno-Karabakh. The president of this separatist territory, Arayik Haroutiounian, told reporters that the “last battlecontrol of the region had started, adding that he was joining the front to fight alongside his troops. Nagorno-Karabakh, mostly populated by Armenians, seceded from Azerbaijan, resulting in the early 1990s a war that left 30,000 dead, and the front has been almost frozen since that date, despite regular clashes.
Erevean authorities said on Saturday that Baku had launched a major offensive on the seventh day of the resumption of hostilities. The separatist army “managed to stop the large-scale attack by the enemy”, the spokeswoman for the Armenian Defense Ministry said on her Facebook page. She clarified that “the Armenian forces launched a counter-offensive on one of the points of the front”.
242 dead on both sides
In Stepanakert, the capital of Nagorno-Karabah targeted for the first time on Friday by heavy artillery fire, new explosions were heard on Saturday morning, according to an AFP correspondent. In this context, the diplomacy of the separatist region called on the international community to “recognize independence” of Nagorno-Karabakh, qualifying this measure as “the only effective mechanism to restore peace”.
For his part, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliev reiterated his call for the withdrawal of Armenian forces from “occupied territories” Azerbaijani, like “precondition” to a cease-fire. “We are going to take back our territories, it is our legitimate right and our historical objective, he said in an interview with Al Jazeera television station on Saturday. We cannot wait 30 more years (…) The Karabakh conflict must be settled now. “
The Azerbaijani army claimed that 19 Azerbaijani villages had been the target of Armenian fire on the night of Friday to Saturday and claimed to take “resolute response measures”, claiming in particular the taking of separatist positions. Since the start of hostilities on Sunday 27 September, only partial reports have been communicated, Baku not announcing its losses. They report a total of 242 dead on both sides, Saturday, October 3. On the other hand, each camp claims successes denied by the other and reports hundreds of enemy soldiers killed every day.