Azerbaijan accused this Sunday (4) the Armenian forces of attack civilian targets, including the cities of Tartar, Horadiz and Ganja, which is the second largest in Azerbaijan. The authorities of the separatist region of Nagorno-Karabakh said that destroyed a military airport in Ganja.
“Armenia has launched rockets at Ganja. Armenian forces deliberately attack the cities of Tartar and Horadiz with heavy artillery and rocket systems. There have also been rocket attacks against cities in the regions of Fuzuli and Jabrail,” said the adviser to Azerbaijan President Hikmet. Hajiyev. According to him, “several civilians were killed or injured as a result of the attacks”.
Map shows the location of the city of Ganja, in Azerbaijan – Photo: G1
Hajiyev said that in recent days Armenia has launched more than 10,000 projectiles of various types against densely populated areas, causing serious damage to more than 500 households.
The government official stressed the need to distinguish between military and civilians during the confrontation.
“Large-scale Armenian attacks on villages in Azerbaijan without military necessity of any kind are not accidental. Armenian systematic attacks are testimony to the fact that it was a plan prepared in advance and included in the Armenian Army’s combat preparedness program. “, claimed Hajiyev.
Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict intensifies
The latest events mark a sharp escalation of the war that broke out a week ago in the South Caucasus.
So far, the main focus of confrontation had been between Azerbaijan and Nagorno-Karabakh, an ethnic Armenian enclave located within Azerbaijan. But now there is a threat that the conflict will turn into a direct war with Armenia itself.
“Azerbaijan will destroy military targets directly within Armenia, from where the bombing of its population centers is taking place,” warned Hajiyev.
Armenia denied that it had directed fire “of any kind” against Azerbaijan. The Nagorno-Karabakh leader said his forces targeted a military air base in Ganja, but then stopped the raid, aiming to prevent civilian casualties.
The conflict threatens to drag other regional powers, as Azerbaijan is supported by Turkey, while Armenia has a defense pact with Russia.
“Armenia’s attacks targeting civilians in Ganja are a new manifestation of Armenia’s illegal attitude. We condemn these attacks,” said Turkey’s Foreign Ministry.
Ignoring calls for a ceasefire from Russia, the United States, France and the EU, the conflicting parties intensified hostilities this weekend, also adding to the aggressive rhetoric.
Armenia said on Saturday it would use “all necessary means” to protect ethnic Armenians from Azerbaijan’s attack, and its prime minister compared the fight to a 20th century war against Ottoman Turkey.
Azerbaijan said on Saturday that its forces had captured a number of villages. Armenia acknowledged that Armenian ethnic fighters were under pressure in some places and classified the situation on the ground as unstable.
The clashes have been the worst since the 1990s, when some 30,000 people were killed and generate international concern about stability in the southern Caucasus, where pipelines transport Azerbaijan oil and gas to world markets.